Gilly opts for spin; Hogg possible replacement for injured MacGill

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Sydney, Nov 29 (UNI) Amid all the hoopla of badgering the formidable Indian batting line-up with 'chin music', Aussie vice-captain Adam Gilchrist gave his vote of confidence to a spin option rather than an all out pace attack.

Stuart MacGill, the lone spinner in the Australian side for the Sri Lankan series, is battling injury problem. The leg-spiner is suffering hand and knee problems and it has been suggested that Australia could confront the Indians with four frontline fast bowlers to unnerve the Indians in the first Test at the MCG starting on Boxing Day.

But Gilchrist beg to differ and said he would like to have a slow bowler in the squad with the pace trio of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson. The wicket-keeper also added that said his WA colleague Bradd Hogg is a worthy replacement if MacGill wasn't fit.

''A spin option is always a good one to have in any Test line-up, it doesn't matter what conditions you are playing in,'' 36-year-old Gilchrist said.

''I think he (Hoggy) is ready to go. I don't think there is any doubt about that if he gets a chance if selected. He has shown great form and never let Australia down in one-day cricket, and he is really keen to play Test cricket again,'' Gilchrist added.

With MacGill's future unclear following inconclusive tests on his hand and wrist as well as a degenerative bone-on-bone knee problem, Hogg's performance against Tasmania could have a huge bearing on whether he gets a Test call.

Gilchrist said whoever makes the Australian line-up, the Indians would provide a bigger challenge than the recent series against Sri Lanka.

''I don't mind if they don't make a game of it, we have just got to win. But I'd expect they are going to be a bit more formidable in their batting,'' the southpaw said.

''They have got huge names in that top six ... and guys who have played well against us not just in India but over here in Australia.

''They will be very confident. They are leading Pakistan at the moment, and they will be in a buoyant mood when they get here,'' Gilchrist was quoted as saying by the 'Australian Associated Press'.

Despite an apparently seamless transition from the retirements of former greats -- Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer-- Gilchrist said judgments on Australia's next generation should be avoided.

''We will make that call over time, over a number of series or over a year or two,'' Gilchrist said.

''There is no doubt the impact McGrath and Warne had on our bowling stocks, and Langer and (Damien) Martyn had on our batting stocks.

''It is going well, and that series against Sri Lanka was of vital importance to us to prove to ourselves that we can be competitive in Test cricket without those guys. We will take great confidence from that,'' he added.

UNI

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