Hogging the headlines - Botham
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ian was delighted see Matthew Hoggard get his rewards on day three of the second Test.
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Ian Botham was delighted to see Matthew Hoggard get his just rewards in Adelaide.
The Yorkshireman suffered in Brisbane and made little impact on the second day, but exploded into life with 4-76 as England kept the Australian response in check.
Hoggard took all four wickets to fall on the third day on a pitch that still favours the batsman and is yet to show the uneven bounce many had predicted.
The man himself is often a reluctant hero, and while he does not necessarily get the headlines of Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff, Botham believes he got the rewards for consistently bowling in the right area.
"I think he's bowled magnificently on a wicket that's been pretty unresponsive for all the bowlers," he told Sky Sports.
"He's got it in the right areas and I think his line and length have been magnificent. He has caused all the batsmen problems and he deserves the rewards he's got.
"If England are going to go on and get something from this game, at the moment the man they have got to thank is Matthew Hoggard.
"His areas tell the whole story. There was virtually nothing down the leg-side and in fact one of the balls he did bowl down there almost got him another wicket, there was just a little edge that Geraint Jones couldn't quite catch from Michael Clarke.
"The batsmen, whether right or left-handed, he's made them work, he's made them play and he's made them think hard about what to leave."
Hoggard removed Matthew Hayden (12) and Damien Martyn (11) early on before Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey steadied the Australian innings with a 192-run stand for the fourth wicket.
But Botham believes the fact that he dismissed Hussey nine short of his ton and was eventually the man who removed Ponting for 142, proves the point that line and length will get you wickets.
"Whether it was Hoggy's bowling or a combination of the nervous nineties I don't know (for Clarke's wicket," he said. "But he was always in the area where they have to think 'Do I leave it? Do I try and play it?'.
"If you put it in the right areas often enough on a pitch like this, that is what happens and he's worked on that principal. It's simple but effective."