Former Australian left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg picked a five-pronged bowling attack for India in their first Test against England, which is set to begin in Chennai on February 5.
The 49-year-old opted for Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj as his three pacers. Bumrah has not yet played a Test match in India. It would thus be interesting to see how he performs on pitches that may not offer him much assistance.
Siraj will be high on confidence, after being India’s highest wicket-taker in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with 13 scalps to his name.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg also explained how Ishant Sharma’s comeback will be crucial for the hosts, given his wealth of experience.
“For India, I will have Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Siraj. All the three quicks complement each other. Bumrah – quick, can attack the stumps, can move the ball both ways. Ishant Sharma – slightly higher, a little bit of extra bounce, and Siraj comes from a slightly different angle,” said Brad Hogg.
As far as the spinners are concerned, Hogg picked Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. Ashwin is the undisputed No.1 spinner for the hosts in their home conditions since the past decade, and this is an obvious inclusion.
However, Brad Hogg believes Patel’s left-arm off-spin will add a bit of variety to the Indian bowling attack, especially in the absence of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The Australian also suggested Hardik Pandya as the third seamer but wasn’t quite convinced whether the 27-year-old will be fully fit bowl yet.
“The two spinners that I would play will be Ashwin and Patel. Ashwin, well, he is the more experienced player. Patel adds a little bit of variety by turning the ball away from the right-handers. If Hardik Pandya can’t bowl 20 overs, I won’t be playing him instead of Siraj,” he further added.
Brad Hogg also spoke about the kind of combination England can go with in the Chennai Test. He picked Chris Woakes over Stuart Broad in the three-pronged England pace attack. Hogg feels that along with the pace of Jofra Archer and the swing of James Anderson, Woakes’ variations will be handy for the visitors.
“For England, the bowling line-up that I would go with would be Anderson – swings the ball both ways, Archer – he has got that extra pace, and then I will go with Woakes. He is a quality bowler, can move the ball both ways, but has got variety with the slower ball as well,” said Brad Hogg.
In the spin department, the Australian went with left-armer Jack Leach. But instead of Dom Bess, he picked Moeen Ali. Hogg feels the 33-year-old’s all-round ability will give the visitors an added depth in batting. He said in this regard:
“I would go with two spinners. I would go with Jack Leach – the left-arm off-spinner. And then I would go with Ali ahead of Bess. Ali will give you batting depth as well as Woakes.”
India have lost only a solitary Test at home in the past eight years. However, England will take heart from the fact that they were the last visiting team to win a Test series in India back in 2012.
First training session in India for these three ✅
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 30, 2021