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Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg included Pakistan batsman Babar Azam in his current Test XI.
In the two-Test series against Australia last year, Azam accumulated 210 runs, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 52.50.
He made a superb 104 in Brisbane and followed that up with a brilliant 97 in the second Test in Adelaide.
The 25-year-old followed that up with 262 runs, which included two centuries, at an average of 262 in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Azam scored an unbeaten 102 in the first Test in Rawalpindi, while he made 100 not out in the second Test in Karachi.
In Pakistan’s most recent Test match against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi, Azam struck a career-best 143.
However, while Hogg picked Azam in his Test XI, there was surprisingly no space for India captain Virat Kohli, who averages 53.62 in the longest format.
“The reason why I have included Babar Azam in the line-up is because he scored a hundred against Australia in Brisbane when Pakistan toured Australia last year,” Hogg was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan. “It’s very hard for overseas teams to perform on that particular wicket but he showed that he could and that is why he is one of the best players going around.
“Everyone will ask why is Virat Kohli not in this team? But if you look at his last 15 Test innings, only four times he has gone over 31 [runs]. That’s why Virat Kohli is not my Test team this year.”
Brad Hogg’s Current Test XI: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Babar Azam, Ajinkya Rahane, Quinton de Kock (c/wk), Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon.