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IND v AUS 2020: 'India have got good replacements but not of Virat Kohli's class' - Josh Hazlewood 

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
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Modified 19 Dec 2020, 20:49 IST
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With the first Test done and dusted, India and Australia will now move on to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Boxing Day Test. The match will see a handful of changes including the absence of Virat Kohli and the return of the traditional red-ball.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers on Day 3 with his 5-wicket haul for just 8 runs. He also reached a personal milestone of 200 wickets in the game. The 29-year-old pacer said both teams will have to start from scratch because the transition to the day matches will be a huge change.

"It's going to be different. It's a different wicket with the pink ball, so it is going to be a fresh start for both batters and bowlers," Josh Hazlewood said during the virtual post-match press conference.

Virat Kohli was India's skipper in their winning campaign in 2018 and also the team's highest scorer in Adelaide. However, the player will leave Australia soon and travel home for the birth of his first child.

Josh Hazlewood accepted that Virat Kohli's departure will leave a hole in the Indian setup. He opined that although India has enough 'class' players to replace Kohli in the 2nd Test, they can't match the elan of Delhi batsman.

"Obviously, there will be a player coming in for Virat. They have class players on the bench, to be honest. Getting all out on 36 will leave a few headaches here and there. With Virat leaving, there will be a hole but they have got class batters on the sidelines to come in, but not of Virat's class," Josh Hazlewood added.

It's great to be one up rather than one down: Josh Hazlewood

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India has Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant in the rings and all three can be roped into the side. If India decides to persist with Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha after their poor performances in the first Test, Gill could have a spot in the middle-order.

Irrespective of which player comes in, they will face an uphill task of managing both personal targets and the pressure of being down 1-0 in the series. For now, Josh Hazlewood is cherishing the lead. He added:

"It's great to be one up rather than one down as we were last time over here. The next Test with the red ball will be a fresh start on a different wicket," noted Josh Hazlewood.

Ajinkya Rahane will lead India for the 3rd time on December 26th. The Indian team will have to be on the money on the day or Australia's first victory in the series might soon turn into a washout.

Published 19 Dec 2020, 20:49 IST
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