Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg on Sunday said Team India derives energy from Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The stylish 30-year-old captain has come under heavy criticism from many former Australian and Indian cricketers for his on-field aggressive behaviour during the second Test match at Perth.
“Virat Kohli is the energy of this Indian team. He is their clear leader and they feed off him. You just see him on the field – his athleticism is different and he expects that from the Indian team,” Brad Hogg told news agency PTI.
The Australian also further credited Kohli for leading his side from the front.
“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 said.
Speaking about Kohli the batsman, Hogg said that the Delhi cricketer is on another level as a batter.
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.”
“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 momentum of the game at will,” said Brad Hogg, who played seven Tests between 1996 and 2008.
The 47-year-old also insisted that the visiting team needs to find balance going into the third Test to put Australia under pressure.
Hogg also said that both the teams may opt to play a pace-bowling all-round at the MCG.
The ongoing four-match Test series between India and Australia is tied at 1-1.
The former left-arm spinner also said he hopes to see a close contest in the remaining two Tests.
“I only 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 Hogg.
“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 added to their bowling depth.”