Picking the Test XI of the year from a lot of incredible players is a task in itself. Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg picked his best test eleven recently based on current performances and to the surprise of all cricket fans, he left out the Indian captain Virat Kohli from that list.
Hogg picked India’s Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma as his openers. They both recently scored a double century each during the team’s home campaign as part of the World Test Championship.
“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.
He then picked the golden Australian pair of Marbus Labuschagne and Steve Smith as his No.3 and No.4. Labuschagne finished 2019 as the leading run-getter in Tests while Smith made a phenomenal return to Test cricket with a record performance in Ashes in England last summer.
To everyone’s surprise Hogg picked Pakistan’s Babar Azam as his No.5. batsman.
“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.
He cited Kohli’s lack of form as the reason for his exclusion from the side.
“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,” clarified Hogg.
He picked India’s test vice captain Ajinkya Rahane as his No.6 batsman. South Africa’s Quinton de Kock was named the wicket-keeper and captain of the side.
His bowling lineup comprised of three of the leading pacers in the world- Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, Neil Wagner. This trio has been successfull over the globe throughout the last year. Australia’s Nathan Lyon was the only spinner who could make it to Hogg’s XI.
Altogether his squad comprised of 4 Indians and 4 Australians.
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 Shami, Neil Wagner, Nathon Lyon.
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