Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg has named his playing XI for Team India for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.
During a recent video uploaded on his Youtube channel, the cricketer-turned-commentator picked the side with an interesting combination. He began with skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma to open the innings for the ‘Men in Blue’.
During the limited-overs series against England earlier this year, Virat Kohli had expressed his willingness to play as an opener in the shortest format. Now, the Aussie cricketer also feels that the Indian captain will be able to bat more freely while opening the innings. He said:
“My Indian team going into the T20 World Cup would have Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opening the batting. I might be a bit harsh on Shikhar Dhawan but they need some attacking players in the middle-order and so they need to push Kohli up the order.”
Brad Hogg picked Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul as the subsequent batters. Rahul, who is a regular T20 opener, was there at number four in Hogg’s XI. Also, he omitted the name of Shreyas Iyer, who is a consistent member of the Virat Kohli-led side in white-ball cricket.
“I have Suryakumar Yadav, a youngster in international cricket, at No.3. I think his versatility is going to add a bit of spice to that batting line-up. KL Rahul is the prime runner for the No.4 spot,” Hogg asserted.
Hogg names India’s finishers and bowlers
Without any surprises, the 50-year-old picked Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja as India middle-order and lower middle-order batsmen.
“Coming in at No.5 is Rishabh Pant and I would keep him as a floater. If there is a wicket falling in the seventh over, I would send him up the order to dominate against spin. I would have Hardik Pandya at No.6 and Ravindra Jadeja at No.7,” he added.
Hogg ended his playing XI with Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Jasprit Bumrah as four specialist bowlers. He also stated that Kuldeep Yadav could also be there in the reckoning if does well during the India vs Sri Lanka 2021 series.
“If Kuldeep Yadav does well in Sri Lanka, having a left-arm wrist-spinner could be a point of difference. But at the moment, Chahal is the number one spinner. Someone like a Thakur could get an opportunity due to his explosive batting and he is also good in the powerplay and at the death. Then you got Bhuvi and then Bumrah,” Hogg signed off.
Brad Hogg’s XI: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah