Smith at No.3, Kohli at 4; three quicks: Josh Hazlewood picks his India-Australia combined Test XI

Ahead of India’s tour to Australia in December this year, Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood picked his combined Test with players from both the sides.
Steve Smith of Australia shakes hands with Virat Kohli of India(Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
Steve Smith of Australia shakes hands with Virat Kohli of India(Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
Updated on Jul 31, 2020 08:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi |

The India-Australia series may still be about five months away but the build up for it has started well in advance. The fact that it in all probability will be Virat Kohli and Co.’s first series since March this year has made it more special. Ahead of the series, Josh Hazlewood who is expected to play a crucial role in Australia’s pace attack in the four Tests in December this year, decided to pick his combined India-Australia Test XI.

Breaking the trend of starting an XI with openers, Hazlewood revealed his choice of seamers at first. He included himself and picked Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah to complete the battery of his seamers.

“Starting from quicks, I will have myself in (laughs) with Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah,” Hazlewood told WION.

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Hazlewood, who has represented Australia 51 Tests and 48 ODIs picking up 195 and 78 wickets respectively, said he would go with Nathan Lyon as the spinner in Australian conditions and R Ashwin if the match is in India.

“In Australian conditions, I will have Nathan Lyon and in Indian conditions, Ravichandran Ashwin,” said Hazlewood.

The right-arm seamer decided to pick Mayank Agarwal and David Warner as his openers. The middle-order of Hazlewood’s team was a formidable one with Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith in it.

“Openers would be Mayank Agarwal – taking future in consideration – and David Warner. Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are automatic picks at three, four and five.

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“At no. six…I will have Marnus Labuschagne or Rohit Sharma given their ability to change the game,” said Hazlewood.

Hazlewood’s India-Australia combined Test XI: Mayank Agarwal, David Warner, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Marnus Labuschagne/Rohit Sharma, Tim Paine (wk), Nathan Lyon/Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jasprit Bumrah.

Hazlewood termed the upcoming series against India equivalent to Ashes because of the interest it generates in both countries.

“Obviously we have got Steve (Smith) and David (Warner) back and Marnus (Labuschagne) has come leaps and bounds. The bowling attack is similar to what it was but it is the batting which now has a lot more depth and experiences from the last time India toured. India’s bowling attack got us last time and that is what we don’t like to happen on our home soil. So we want to get India in that department. But as you said, everyone is going to watch this series. It has almost reach the point where it has reached point like the Ashes now. It is a huge series for both teams and we need to give a payback to India after last time,” Hazlewood added.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021