Australia vs India: "I Would Bat Rohit Sharma Down The Order in Australia", Says Brad Hogg

Australia vs India: ‘I Would Bat Rohit Sharma Down The Order in Australia’- Brad Hogg

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Credit: BCCI

Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg believes rather than opening the innings, Rohit Sharma should bat in the middle-order for Team India in the third Test in Sydney starting Thursday (January 7).

While many have touted Rohit to bat at the top, Hogg opined that the elegant right-hander should be slotted at a more comfortable position lower in the order.

Hogg said for Rohit to do so, he must replace Hanuma Vihari in the line-up. Hogg backed struggling Mayank Agarwal to retain his spot and open alongside Shubman Gill.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma [Photo-Getty]

India Must Be Wary Of Rohit Sharma’s Vulnerabilities In Overseas Conditions: Brad Hogg

Rohit has been superb since being promoted to open the batting a couple of seasons ago. But Hogg explained why he wouldn’t want the free-flowing right-hand batsman to start off in overseas conditions. Hogg said Rohit is vulnerable when facing swing and seam movement outside off.

“Agarwal, I think, is safe. The reason being is because Rohit Sharma has got that issue in Australia where there is a little bit of extra bounce and movement away, he plays away from his body and he is just going to feed those slips early on in his innings with the new ball,” Hogg said in a video on his YouTube Channel.

“So for me, I would bat him (Rohit Sharma) down the order here in Australia and hopefully the top order have worn the Australian bowlers out and he can come out and play with absolute freedom. So Vihari for me, he is out of the door,” he added.

Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg (Source: Twitter)

I Would Go In With Navdeep Saini For His Extra Pace: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg also named Navdeep Saini as his preferred third Indian paceman for the Sydney Test, replacing injured Umesh Yadav.

Umesh has been ruled out of the series after hurting his calf while playing the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. In his absence, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur and Saini are in contention to join Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj in the fast bowling department.

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini celebrating with his teammates (Credits: BCCI)

For Hogg, it is Saini who will add the most value if selected to make his Test debut at the SCG.

“Now the way that Siraj bowled in his first Test match, he showed that he can bowl a good line and length, I would go with Saini with the extra pace. Then you got someone, with five bowlers in your line-up, that can change up with some short-pitched bowling at the likes of Labuschagne and Steve Smith, who have been troubled with the short ball,” Hogg said.

It remains to be seen which direction the Indian team finally goes. But it is expected that Rohit Sharma will replace out-of-form Mayank Agarwal and Shardul Thakur will get the nod as the third pacer because of greater experience.