Much has been said about whether the 32-year-old should step down as India’s skipper in the longest format, especially after the side’s heroics under Ajinkya Rahane Down Under.
However, the former Australian left-arm wrist-spinner explained that Virat Kohli was copping unnecessary criticism.
The 49-year-old feels England made the most of winning a crucial toss. According to Hogg, Team India had tougher conditions to bat as the Test progressed.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg stated that Virat Kohli can’t just simply be replaced by Rahane. Kohli is still India’s most successful Test captain, with 33 wins from 57 Tests.
“He (Virat Kohli) was up against it. He lost the toss and the conditions were against India throughout the Test match. The batting conditions were just too tough for all the batsmen in those final two days. So don’t have a crack at Virat Kohli’s captaincy. You can’t really give him the flick and bring Ajinkya Rahane in,” Brad Hogg said.
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has not been in the greatest of form, especially at home. Since his match-winning hundred in the Boxing Day Test, Rahane has hardly made a telling contribution for his team with the bat.
Ajinkya Rahane in 20 home Test since England tour, 2016/17
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) February 7, 2021
Brad Hogg felt Virat Kohli’s deputy was a bit nervous when he started his innings in Chennai. He seemed to be a bit tentative with his footwork and technique.
The 49-year-old thinks Rahane just needs to negotiate that early period to score big.
“If you look at Ajinkya Rahane’s record, he has a lot of scores that are either in single figures or between 10 and 20. So that tells me that he is a nervous starter. Somehow, he has got to control those nerves, get to 20, and once he gets there he can just take a deep breath and then he goes on with it for a lot of time,” Brad Hogg said.
Team India need to respond after losing comprehensively in the first Test. While England will be high on confidence, Virat Kohli and his men will need to think about what their strongest playing XI could be.
“Our focus is the next Test match and bouncing back into the series” – #ViratKohli
See if #TeamIndia manage to do exactly that:
2nd Test, Day 1 | Feb 13, 8.30 AM | Star Sports & Disney+Hotstar VIP | #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/hVwxECTqbn
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) February 11, 2021
The hosts cannot afford a defeat as it will end their hopes of making it to the World Test Championship Final.