India captain Virat Kohli would probably walk into a world XI in any format of the game if picked with current players, right? Wrong, certainly not if the selector is Brad Hogg. The former Australia left-arm wrist spinner left out Kohli from his current Test XI despite picking four cricketers – the joint-most with Australia – from India.
Virat Kohli, who had the worst series of his career in New Zealand earlier this year was left out of Hogg’s side based on current form.
“Everyone will ask why is Virat Kohli not in this team?” he said. “But if you look at his last 15 Test innings, only four times he has gone over 31 [runs]. That’s why Virat Kohli is not my Test team this year,” said Hogg.
The left-arm wrist-spinner picked India’s Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma as the openers of his side.
“Love the way he (Mayank) pays those cover drives and pull shots off his front foot. He has been very consistent,” said Hogg.
“Rohit Sharma’s a bit lucky to find a place in this XI. He’s averaged over 90 but has played Test cricket only in India. But I love the way that he’s so relaxed, just pushes the ball through the off side and also works the ball off his legs” said Hogg.
Hogg, who was played 7 Tests, 123 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 15 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for Australia while picking up 17 wickets, 156 wickets and 7 wickets respectively, went in with Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith as his No.3 and No.4 batsmen.
Hogg picked Pakistan’s Babar Azam as his No.5. “He’s made four hundreds but the reason why I have included Babar Azam in the lineup is because he scored a hundred against Australia in Brisbane, when Pakistan toured Australia last year,” said Hogg. “It’s very hard for overseas teams to perform on that particular wicket but he showed that he could and that is why he is one of the best players going around,” He added.
Ajinkya Rahane was picked as the No.6 batsman in Hogg’s side as the former Australian cricketer decided against keeping a specialist all-rounder.
Hogg picked South Africa’s Quinton de Kock as the wicket-keeper and captain of his side as Steve Smith hadn’t led Australia in the last year.
Hogg went with three seamers in his side. He picked Australia’s Pat Cummins, India’s Mohammed Shami and New Zealand’s Neil Wagner.
Australia’s Nathan Lyon was the lone spinner in his side.
Hogg also named six cricketers who narrowly missed his team and they were New Zealand opener Tom Latham, England’s Rory Burns, Australia’s David Warner and fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Stuart Broad. Ben Stokes wasn’t picked because of poor batting average.
Brad Hogg’s current Test XI
Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Babar Azam, Ajinkya Rahane, Quinton De Kock (c/wk), Pat Cummins, Mohammad Sham, Neil Wagner, Nathon Lyon.