Hogg back in Test contention
In the middle of the World Cup-winning celebrations Adam Gilchrist stopped for a few minutes to say Brad Hogg was capable of being Australia's Test spinner next summer. On a day of toasting in Barbados that included lunch on a yacht owned by James Packer, the son of Kerry, and a dawn swim, Gilchrist managed to look ahead to the side's next series against Sri Lanka in November.
With Glenn McGrath joining Shane Warne in retirement, Australia's bowling attack will have a new look and Gilchrist said Hogg could step in after a World Cup of 21 wickets at 15.8. "Hogg has thrown himself back into contention for Test cricket," Gilchrist said in the Courier-Mail. "We have lost one of the greatest but we have a guy there who has stood up on the world stage again. All credit to him."
During the home summer it seemed Hogg, who is now 36, was heading for the exit after playing only one CB Series preliminary game. However, his performances in the Caribbean have earned him extra space ahead of the young bowlers Dan Cullen and Cameron White and the experienced Stuart MacGill. Hogg played the last of his four Tests in 2003, but he has showed how valuable he can be with his hard-to-pick wrong'un.
Gilchrist plans to stay on in both forms of the game and he marked his third consecutive World Cup victory with a picture with McGrath and Ricky Ponting, who were the only other men to be part of all the triumphs. "I certainly made sure I had a photo with the other two because they are truly legends of the game," Gilchrist said. "There are a lot of players who have played World Cup cricket who have not won one, let alone won three. To be part of that group was a huge thrill."
Gilchrist dominated the final with a spectacular 149 off 104 balls to set up the rain- and light-interrupted win. "I would have been disappointed not to make a World Cup hundred, especially after getting 99 run out against Sri Lanka in 2003," Gilchrist said in The Age. "Ricky reminded me when I got to 140-odd that it was the highest score in World Cup final history." Australia's players will arrive in Sydney on Thursday and a reception will be held for them in Martin Place.