Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg believes Rishabh Pant has to be included in India's playing XI for the Boxing Day Test, given the left-hander's presence in the batting unit could unsettle the hosts' bowling attack.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Hogg explained how Rishabh Pant's addition to the Indian team would help the visitors compete better in the Boxing Day Test.
"You don't have a left-handed batsman in the line-up. I think India could do with Rishabh Pant coming in down the lower-order with his aggressive left-hand batting. That will just change up the line and length at some stage against the Australian quicks."
Hogg's opinion on Rishabh Pant's inclusion stems from the argument that a left-handed option in the middle order could force the Australian bowlers to alter their line and length.
Notably, the southpaw enjoyed a good outing in Australia during the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Rishabh Pant scored 350 runs from four Tests at an average of 58.33, including a stunning hundred at Sydney.
Apart from Rishabh Pant's inclusion, Hogg wants India to stick with four bowlers
Hogg is also of the opinion that Team India should not experiment with the five-bowlers option for the Boxing Day Test. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been declared fit to play the second Test, and many believe he should replace Hanuma Vihari at No.6 to give the visitors that extra bowling option.
However, Hogg believes the said change would only weaken the Indian batting and that is something they cannot afford against the Australian pacers, who have their tails up after the Adelaide Test.
"I don't think they (India) should be playing with five bowlers. I think you got to go with Ashwin or Jadeja. I would still stick with Ashwin. You can't afford to weaken your batting line-up against this Australian bowling attack," Brad Hogg opined.
After their humiliating defeat at the Adelaide Oval, all eyes will be on the Indian team as they look to level the series with a win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
While the Australians will look to blow away the hosts with pace and bounce, the Indian batting will need to step up and show their character. With skipper Virat Kohli and pacer Mohammed Shami unavailable, one can safely say that the Indian team will have their backs up against the wall.Published 25 Dec 2020, 10:38 IST