Aussies to inspect MCG pitch before deciding to play Hodge

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Melbourne, Dec 21 (UNI) The fate of left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg hangs in the balance with Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting saying that the decision whether to go for a four-man pace attack or play an extra spinner would be decided after the inspection of the MCG pitch.

''The wicket conditions, that will be the biggest thing,'' Ponting said.

''Are you going to have most impact with the ball through express pace, with Lee, (Mitchell) Johnson and Tait with the ball maybe reserve swinging late in the game, or is it going to be day four and day five with that specialist spinner there?'' Ponting said if the pitch is dry, Hodge may find a place in the playing IX. ''If it is dry, then it might spin a little bit. They are the things we have to try and work out.'' ''If we get down there and it looks like it has not got much grass on it and is going to be pretty dead, that is when the selection is going to be really tough because you have to look at it each way.

''I think generally it takes teams a little while when they get to Australia when they either start in Brisbane or in Perth,'' he added.

''The Melbourne wicket from what I can gather over the last few weeks has been very, very flat.'' The Men in Blue start their Australian tour with the first Test at in Melbourne on December 26.

UNI

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