'Hogg is bowling well without luck' March 14, 2007

Clark deserves new ball - Warne

Cricinfo staff

Stuart Clark should open with Glenn McGrath, according to Shane Warne © Getty Images

Shane Warne believes Stuart Clark should open the bowling with Glenn McGrath during the World Cup but Shaun Tait could be trusted with the important final overs. Warne also defended Brad Hogg's recent efforts and said his successful warm-up against England could be a turning point.

Warne, writing in his column in The Times, said McGrath and Clark were Australia's best frontline options. "People can say they are a bit predictable," Warne said. "I just think they are the best two fast bowlers in the world at the moment.

"Brett Lee is a big loss ... but Clark is a different type of bowler who will be very difficult to face if the ball nips around or stops in the pitch. Accuracy is at a premium in those conditions and Clark and McGrath can take advantage of the early starts."

Warne said Hogg, whose last five ODIs have yielded no wickets, had not been performing badly and should take confidence from his 2 for 28 in Friday's warm-up against England. "Hogg, from what I've seen, has been bowled pretty well without luck," Warne said.

He believed spinners would play a key role in the West Indies and Michael Clarke's part-time offerings could be vital. Warne said Sri Lanka and New Zealand would be Australia's biggest threats but the defending champions should not be concerned about their recent series losses.

"Despite missing Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds, they still posted scores above 300 [in New Zealand]," he said. "No other side has the depth to build totals like that when four of the usual top five are out."