Kohli will now head back home as he was granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Hazlewood reckons while India has “class players” to replace Kohli, they cannot match the standards set by the Indian skipper. The right-handed bowler, who entered the 200-wicket club on Saturday, also said the Boxing Day Test will be a fresh start for both teams.
“It’s going to be different. It’s a lot different wicket with the pink ball than Melbourne, so it is going to be a fresh start for both batters and bowlers. Obviously, there will be a player coming in for Virat. They have quite class players on the bench, to be honest. So good players will come in and will be having plans for them no doubt,” Hazlewood said during the virtual post-match press conference.
“Getting all out on 36 will leave few headaches here and there and obviously Virat leaving so there will be a hole but they have got class batters on the sidelines to come in, obviously not of Virat’s class,” he added.
Pat Cummins and Hazlewood took nine wickets among themselves in the second innings on Saturday while Mohammad Shami was retired hurt after being hit on his right arm as India was bundled out for 36 in the second innings and that particular session cost India the Test. Australia registered an eight-wicket victory on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
“It’s great to be one up rather than one down as were last time here. Next Test with the red ball will be a fresh start on a different wicket,” said Hazlewood. The two teams will now lock horns in the second Test (Boxing Day) on December 26.