Perth, Feb 27: Former Australia chinaman bowler Brad Hogg is extremely impressed with the manner in which the Indian cricket team has made a comeback after an indifferent Australian Summer', making them firm contenders for the ICC World Cup title.
What India did brilliantly was to change the plan after knowing what didnt work for them during the two months in Australia. They really did turn it around during the South Africa game and I believe they can retain the World Cup.
For me, along with Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, India will be in the semi-finals. I have a feeling that India and New Zealand will play the final.
My heart wants Australia but head says something is going to give in somewhere, Hogg said during an exclusive interaction arranged by the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA).
In fact, when they played in Perth the last time, I was commentating on the match. I found their pace battery didnt utilise conditions well. Either they bowled too full or too short.
But they have prepared very well since then and have turned the fortunes and are looking good enough to retain the World Cup, said the 44-year-old Hogg.
The chinaman bowler feels that India have the best spin attack in the tournament although he had words of praise for South Africas Imran Tahir. Definitely India have the best spin attack.
You cant go past Ashwin and Jadeja. They are the world class spinners at the moment. Among other sides, Australia didnt pick a frontline spinner. In New Zealand, they have Daniel Vettori, who is very difficult to score of.
I will also put SA leg-spinner Imran Tahir in the list. I think he is a fantastic bowler. Also India have the best batting line-up against spin bowling while Australia and New Zealand can also be dangerous on their own turf, said Hogg, who at 44, will again feature in the Indian Premier League for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The four-fielder rule does make it a tad difficult for any spinner but there is a good chance for them to play a significant role in the championship. Its very difficult to bowl with four fielders outside especially as the batsmen come charging down the track.
Thats why we see such high scores. You have to be very strong with your plans. If one brings the deep point up, you give a batsman chance to play the reverse sweep and that can hurt a bowler, explained Hogg.