The cricketing action finally started in England when they opened doors for West Indies concerning the first-ever Test series post coronavirus pandemic. Now, England are playing the first ODI series since the COVID-19 outbreak with Ireland. After this, England will again head on to the red-ball challenge as Pakistan is all set to face the English squad from August 05.
Meanwhile, Indian fans might have to wait a bit longer to see their favourite stars on the cricket field once again as the cases related to the deadly virus in India are increasing day by day. However, from the first week of December later this year, Indian fans would be able to see their favourite cricketers showing the magic as the prestigious Border-Gavaskar trophy is all set to kick-off from December 3 in Australia.
Ahead of the series, Aussie pacer Josh Hazlewood decided to pick his combined India-Australia Test XI during a candid chat with WION. Unlike the traditional style of picking openers first, Hazlewood started the proceedings by naming seamers. He selected his teammate Pat Cummins and Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah along with himself to complete the bowling attack.
“Starting from quicks, I will have myself in (laughs) with Pat Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah,” said Hazlewood.
When it comes to choosing a spinner, the New South Wales cricketer went with Nathan Lyon instead of Ravichandran Ashwin. Hazlewood explained that in Aussie conditions he would have Lyon, but in Indian pitches, he would have Ashwin.
“In Australian conditions, I will have Nathan Lyon and in Indian conditions, Ravichandran Ashwin,” added Hazlewood.
The right-arm seamer then picked Mayank Agarwal and David Warner as his openers. For the middle-order, he went with Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Hazlewood also named Marnus Labuschagne and Rohit Sharma in his team. However, he did not reveal the keeper of his side.
“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.
“At no. six…I will have Marnus Labuschagne or Rohit Sharma given their ability to change the game,” the 29-year-old added further.
Here is Hazlewood’s India-Australia combined Test XI:
Mayank Agarwal, David Warner, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Marnus Labuschagne/Rohit Sharma, Nathan Lyon/Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Jasprit Bumrah.
Speaking about the upcoming series, the Gabba will host the inaugural game, and after that, both sides will lock horns at Adelaide Oval for the Day-Night Test followed by the Boxing-Day match at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Then, in the next year in January India and Australia will meet at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the final Test.
Hazlewood, who has represented Australia in 51 Tests and 48 ODIs picking up 195 and 78 wickets respectively, spoke about the highly anticipated series and termed it equivalent to Ashes.
“Everyone is going to watch this series. It has almost reached the point where it has reached a 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,” concluded Hazlewood.