Former Australian spinner, Brad Hogg expects Rohit Sharma to have a bumper Test series in Australia. However, he wishes to see Rohit bat at number four instead of opening in the Test series.
Australia will host India for six white-ball games and four Test matches. The 3-match ODI series commences on 27th November followed by 3 T20Is.
The much-awaited Border-Gavaskar series will begin on 17th December with a day-night Test in Adelaide followed by the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, New Year’s Test in Sydney, and the last Test match in Australia’s fortress, Brisbane.
Virat Kohli will miss out on the last three Test matches as he will return to India to attend the birth of his first child. He has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI and will lead the side in the ODIs, T20Is, and the first Test in Adelaide. Ajinkya Rahane is likely to captain the team in the last three games.
Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma haven’t travelled with the Indian team to Australia. Both the players are recovering from the injuries they suffered during the IPL. KL Rahul, the Kings XI Punjab skipper, has been named the vice-captain of the limited-overs team.
We are going to see the best of Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket: Brad Hogg
In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg points out Rohit Sharma’s stats in red-ball cricket away from home. Rohit averages 88 in India, and outside India, the average drops significantly to 26. However, in his previous series in Australia, he scored at an average of 35, including a 63* at the MCG.
Hogg opines that the right-hander should slot in at number 4 when Kohli leaves. The former spinner predicts that Rohit will score three tons and will have a huge impact on the series. He feels that the Mumbai batsman will be at his best in the Test series against Australia. Opening for the first time in his Test career last year, Rohit recorded three hundreds against South Africa, including a double hundred.
In his YouTube video, Brad Hogg said, “When Rohit Sharma tours, he is not as effective in the red-ball game as when he is at home. But the last time he came here, he averaged 35.
“Without Virat Kohli there, he will have to step up and I think he can slot in at No. 4 in those final three Test matches and make a huge impact. I think he is going to get three hundreds in that position and challenge Australia. We are going to see the best of him in red-ball cricket.”
Talking about Kohli, the 49-year-old said that India will miss his batting and the leadership. Under the captaincy of Kohli, India have won 33 out of 55 matches. The right-hander averages 55 and has notched six Test match tons in Australia.
“60 per cent of the times that Virat has lead this team, he has had a win. Kohli averages 55.4 in Australian conditions, so that is a huge loss. So his batting and leadership are going to be missed,” Bradd Hogg added.