Australian Spinner Brad Hogg has been a fan of Pakistan young prodigy and newly appointed captain Babar Azam. Babar, however, has deserved very much of this for the phenomenal form he has been in across formats of late.
In his career, Babar has accumulated 1850 runs at an average of 45.12 in 26 matches in test format. In the meantime, he has also drawn comparisons with modern great Virat Kohli.
On Saturday, Brad Hogg inspired yet another debate by picking Babar over Indian Captain Virat Kohli in his current Test XI. In his Test XI, Hogg included three Indian batsmen but Virat Kohli failed to make the cut.
Explaining the reason behind picking Babar, the Australian gave reference of a Test Hundred which Babar scored a few months back in Brisbane. On a bouncy pitch, Babar scored a brilliant hundred to overcome all the odds.
“The reason why I have included Babar Azam in the lineup is that 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 in a video on his official YouTube channel.
The lengthened patch of poor form, that Virat Kohli is in, also played a part. According to the Australian, Virat hasn’t crossed 30 more than four times during his last 15 Test innings and this is the reason Virat couldn’t make to the team.
“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”, the 49-year-old said.
Hogg has selected Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma as his openers, who had a wonderful 2019 in Test Cricket. Indian Test Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also makes the cut in his line-up. The Mumbai batsman has been the backbone of Indian batting in overseas conditions. In pacers, Mohammed Shami finds place along with Pat Cummins and Neil Wagner.
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, Mohammed Shami, Neil Wagner, Nathon Lyon.