Glenn McGrath has picked Indian cricketers Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin in his Test Team of the Year for 2016, with the former being named as the captain.
Kohli led India in 12 Tests this year, winning nine, drawing three and losing none.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, the former Aussie fast bowler explained why he selected Kohli as the captain ahead of the likes of Steve Smith and Kane Williamson who also feature in the team.
“I think when he (Kohli) is captain, it really lifts his game and I think he’s do very well captaining this team,” said McGrath.
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah also finds a place in McGrath’s XI. In 2016, Shah has taken 45 wickets in 10 Tests with two 10-wicket match-hauls to his name.
While Rangana Herath has also had a brilliant year with the ball, the 46-year-old preferred a “off-spin/leg-spin combination”.
David Warner (Australia), Joe Root (England), Virat Kohli (India) (C), Steve Smith (Australia), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Jonny Bairstow (England) (WK), Ben Stokes (England), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Yasir Shah (Pakistan).
12th man – Stuart Broad (England).
Virender Sehwag has become quite popular on Twitter with his hilarious birthday wishes for cricketers and he produced another cracker on the birthday of former Pakistan cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq.
The former Indian opening batsman reminded Saqlain of the time he hit a six off his bowling to bring up a triple century during a Test at Multan in 2004. Incidentally, that was the first ever 300+ score by an Indian batsman in Test history.
At the age of 27, that was also Saqlain’s last appearance for Pakistan in international cricket. He represented his country in 49 Tests and 169 ODIs, and is credited for the invention of the ‘doosra’.
Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody fears that the upcoming Test series between India and Australia in the sub-continent could get very messy for the visitors.
Moody, who featured in eight Tests and 76 ODIs for Australia, feels that the current Australian Test team are still in a stage of development and that the tour to India might a step too far for them.
India are currently the number one ranked team in the world and are on a 18-match unbeaten run in the longest format of the game. The last time they tasted defeated in a home Test was back in 2012.
Speaking on Macquarie Radio, Moody said that he will be holding his breath when Australia begin their tour of India.
“I think the Australia team has a lot of areas it needs to continue to develop. I will be holding my breath when this team jumps on the big bird and heads to India. It’s going to be messy, very messy,” said Moody.
India have been particularly ruthless under the captaincy of Virat Kohli lately. In the ongoing season, they have played eight Tests against New Zealand and England at home, winning seven of those and drawing one.
With batsmen in top form, and Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja forming a lethal partnership with the ball, Moody feels that Australia have a mountain to climb if they have to get anything out of the series.
“Not only Australia, England have just experienced it – it’s a very, very difficult place to win. I think Australia, in the position it is now, reinventing itself as a Test side, are going to go there with a huge mountain to climb,” the 51-year-old said.
“India have endless batsmen that can pile on runs and they have got two spinners that do it better than anyone else in the world in those conditions.”
India and Australia will face each other in a four-match Test series, with the first Test scheduled to begin in Pune on February 23, 2017.