Aussies rely on Hogg to play key role
Aussies rely on Hogg to play key role

As Australia begin stage two of their World Twenty20 campaign on Friday night against India (midnight AEST), wrist-spinner Brad Hogg brings the rare mix of youthful exuberance and the experience of a 40-something.

Hogg, 41, came out of retirement to make a successful comeback at domestic T20 level for the Perth Scorchers last summer and has emerged as a key figure for Australia in their bid to win the World T20 title for the first time.

The left-arm spinner has claimed 1-22 and 1-30 in Australia's wins overs Ireland and West Indies in the group stage.

His performance against the Windies was particularly impressive as Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels blasted half-centuries, taking 17 runs from offspinner Glenn Maxwell's one-over spell and also handing out some punishment to quicks Mitchell Starc (3-35) and Pat Cummins (1-41).

Hogg is determined to add a World T20 title to his two World Cups, and his big-game temperament can be judged by his performance in claiming 21 wickets at 15.80 in the 2007 one-day World Cup in the West Indies.

"He does bring a certain enthusiasm to everything he does that can be infectious if you're in the right mood," Australia T20 skipper George Bailey says.

"Age, when you know someone like Hoggy, is just a number.

"He's more excited to be here than anyone and probably rightly so.

"When he's playing good cricket and he's up and about, it is hard not to get caught up in it.

"In terms of the way a group is made up, that youthful exuberance is something that's absolutely gold."

Australia have been drawn in the Super Eights group of death and will play India, South Africa (Sunday) and Pakistan (Tuesday) in a bid to qualify for next week's semi-finals.

The West Australian

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