Former Australian leg-spinner Brad Hogg has lauded Team India for their lion-hearted effort in saving the Test match in Sydney and putting the home side on the backfoot despite being battered and bruised due to a plethora of injuries to their star players.
The caravan of the Test series will now move to the Gabba for the decider. However, Team India has copped yet another blow in the lead-up to the all-important as pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is all-but ruled out due to abdominal strain.
With Bumrah unlikely to take part in the Test, it leaves Team India’s fast bowling attack extremely thin on experience as a 2-Test-old Mohammed Siraj will lead the unit alongside Navdeep Saini, who made his debut in Sydney and one of T Natarajan or Shardul Thakur, who are yet to play a Test match for their country.
And, Brad Hogg feels that while India has shown a lot of fight and have put Australia on the back foot, it will be difficult for the visitors to stay in the game at Australia’s fortress in Brisbane in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah
“I have liked the way Australia have been put under pressure, if you go into the last two Test matches, Australia were the favourites, they were on their home soil. India were depleted, they had lost Shami, Shami was the perfect pick for Sydney. Siraj and Saini stood up and it just showed character. So for me, Australia being put on the back foot is what you want to see in their home. It is going to be a big fight for Australia to pick up the title in Brisbane but without Bumrah there it will be hard ask for India to stay in the contest,” Brad Hogg said on Sports Today.
Brad Hogg, however, went on to laud the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant, for laying the cornerstone of a historic draw at the SCG.
Starting the day at 2/97, India lost a quick wicket in the form of their skipper in Ajinkya Rahane in the second over to Nathan Lyon. However, the defiance of Pujara and the flamboyance of Pant, especially, caught Australia off-guard as the southpaw smashed the famed attack to all corners of the SCG to the tune of 97 off just 118 balls.
“Well done to Pujara as well as Pant, he is my favourite cricketer at the moment. He can turn a game on its back.” Brad Hogg said.