Melbourne, Dec 19 : Within hours after Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble speaking about weaknesses of Australian bowlers and in Brad Hogg's inexperience in Test matches, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting hit back, saying India can target the left-arm spinner at its own peril.
A week is left for the two rivals to clash in the Boxing Day Test, but the high-decibel war of words is becoming shriller by the day.
"A lot of international players have struggled reading Hoggy in one-day cricket, especially," Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said, adding, "He's brought a lot of guys undone with his variations in that form of the game, and I can't see why there would be anything different in Test cricket."
Kumble had said Australia is finding it difficult to replace Shane Warne, adding that Indian batsmen would not mind facing up to a third-choice slow bowler.
However, Ponting quipped, "If they want to go after him (Hogg), well, that's good, because I think that's probably the best way for us to take wickets."
"Hoggy is bowling very well, he's very confident, he's been talking up how well he's been bowling right through the summer ... he'll do a good job," he added.
Meanwhile, Hogg has expressed hope that Melbourne's 'drop-in pitch' would help earn him a Test recall after a four-year absence.
"I liked it as a spin bowler," The Australian quoted Hogg, as saying.
"It's always in your favour having a good performance there under your belt," added Hogg, who is in Australia's 12-man squad. The selectors are counting on his impressive performance in the recent ODI series against India. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI