Cricket

Kohli is the energy of this Indian team: Hogg

Clear leader: Brad Hogg says Virat Kohli is on a different level to anyone else as a batsman.  

Virat Kohli might have come under sharp criticism from various quarters for his on-field aggressive behaviour, but former Australia spinner Brad Hogg on Saturday defended the India captain, saying the visiting team derives energy from him.

“Virat Kohli is the energy of this Indian team. He is their clear leader and they feed off him. His athleticism is different and he expects that from the Indian team,” Hogg said.

“And what he expects from the team, he does as well, so it is not as if he is telling the team what to do without leading from the front. He is actually leading from the front and asking his teammates to follow him,” he added.

Talking about Kohli’s batting, Hogg said: “As a batsman too, Kohli is on a different level to anyone else. Perhaps only Usman Khawaja came close, that too in the second innings where he batted with a lot of composure,” said Hogg.

“But even then, they don’t have someone on the same level as Kohli. He is a different batsman to everybody else — he finds boundaries and rotates strike, and turns the momentum of the game at will.”

Balance

Hogg said India would need to find balance going into the third Test to put Australia under pressure. He said both the teams might look to play a pace-bowling all-round at the MCG.

“I really want a close series. We have had two close Test matches, and that’s what we want. We want Australia tested on their home soil and they have been tested a couple of times previously by Indian teams coming here,” said the left-arm spinner.

“It will be interesting to see how India will balance their team going into the MCG Test. Both teams might look to play the extra bowler by picking the all-rounder and add to their bowling depth.”

Hogg heaped praise on the Indian pacers and said it would be a huge opportunity for the visitors against a “relatively weak” Australian side.

“India have to be proud with the way their pacers have bowled in both Tests. They have been aggressive and won the first Test, and it was very important because it gave them energy and belief,” he said.

‘Openers made the difference’

Hogg said the openers have made all the difference in the series so far for the home team as compared to their Indian counterparts.

“The difference was in the opening partnerships. The way Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch added 112 runs, they made India chase the game from the first hour on day one,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:38:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-tour-of-australia-australia-vs-india-test-series-kohli-is-the-energy-of-this-indian-team-says-hogg/article25808367.ece

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