India and Australia have enjoyed many memorable clashes over the years. Earlier this week, the iconic Kolkata Test in 2001 had its 22nd anniversary; India batters VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid forged a 376-run stand in the second innings as the hosts, following-on, posted a mammoth score of 657/7, eventually beating the Aussies by 170 runs. In recent past, India have been the more dominant side in the longest format of the game, having defeated Australia in the last four series (two away).
Many cricketers from both sides have shared unheard anecdotes and stories from the clashes between both sides, and earlier this week, former Aussie spinner Brad Hogg also took a stroll down the memory lane, as he shared a story about his Test debut in Delhi. Hogg came into XI in the last minute as a replacement of Shane Warne, who was forced to miss the match due to an injury.
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Hogg recalled how he dismissed Sourav Ganguly in the match, revealing his conversation with then-captain Mark Taylor, who helped him plan the dismissal.
“I’ll take you back to 1996 when I first played for Australia. I had only been bowling leg-spin for 2 years, they took me out there as an understudy of Shane Warne. Shane got an injury, that brought McIntyre over, and they played me as well. I had only been bowling for 2 years, so I was a bit underdeveloped,” Hogg began as he narrated the story on his official YouTube channel.
“I’m bowling to Ganguly. I came around the wicket. Mark Taylor came up to me, ‘Hoggy what are you coming around the wicket for?’ (He asked). (I replied) ‘Just trying something different, Mark’. He asked, ‘What are you playing at?’ (I replied) ‘Just trying to get around a good line and length and create some pressure’. (Again, he asked) ‘But how are you going to get Ganguly out?’
I said, ‘Mark, I’m not Shane Warne. I’ve only been bowling 2 years. I’ve got no idea what I’m doing’. Then he said ‘Alright, you put on the good area, let’s set the field for you’.
“First ball I bowled around the wicket, Ganguly hit me for a six over mid-on. ‘Plan isn’t working here, Mark’ I said. He replied, ‘That’s alright, stick to your guns, bowl a bit outside leg-stump’. Ganguly went for a sweep shot, Mark Waugh caught it at first slip. That’s where I got my first wicket. Took me another seven-and-a-half-years to take another Test scalp after that. India belted me after that and I got a lesson of a lifetime back in 1996. I had a lot of work to do in international cricket,” Hogg said.
While Hogg was a key member of the Australian limited-overs team towards the turn of the decade, he couldn’t replicate his success in Tests. Hogg made only seven Test appearances for Australia, taking 17 wickets.