According to former Australian batting great Greg Chappell, India is “weak” this time due to injuries to crucial players like Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah, and Australia can win the upcoming important four-match Test series.
Indian pace leader Bumrah did not make the Indian team for the first two Tests owing to a back issue, while Pant is absent for the majority of the year as he continues to heal from injuries received from a terrible automobile accident.
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Australia Can Win This Series: Greg Chappell
“Australia can win this series. India are more vulnerable at home than they have been for some time due to injuries to key players like Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah. They will rely heavily on Virat Kohli,” Chappell expressed his thoughts in a ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ editorial post.
The Indian team for the Test series starting in Nagpur on Thursday includes Ravindra Jadeja, who overcame a knee injury and made a comeback in the Ranji Trophy last month.
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“Visiting teams are often fooled by a game that seems to be going nowhere but suddenly changes at a frenetic pace. The Indians are used to this, so Australia will need to adapt quickly with mind, bat and ball,” said the former India coach.
Ashton Agar, a finger spinner and the sole left-arm spinner in the Australian team, should be chosen to join Nathan Lyon on spinning wickets, according to Chappell.
“Should the pitches favour spin, which is more likely, I expect Ashton Agar to get the nod because finger spin is considered to be more accurate,” said the 74-year-old Chappell who scored 7110 runs from 87 Tests with an impressive average of 53.86 between 1970 and 1984.
“Anil Kumble who took 619 wickets in Test cricket, rarely strayed off the straight and narrow. His stock in trade were fast, flat leg breaks which were always threatening the stumps. Batters knew if they missed, they were in trouble. Jadeja’s stock in trade is similarly unerring.
“Agar has got to emulate their roles. One bowler leaking runs will be the difference in a tight contest.”
Nathan Lyon Have To Show The Way: Greg Chappell
Erapalli Prasanna was an Indian legend who, according to what he remembered of their talk, would spin the ball so hard, try to hit the batter in the pads frequently, make him to focus on the spinning ball, and then trapped him on the crease with a straight one.
“Line, he (Prasanna) said, was optional, length was mandatory. He explained to me that he would lay the seam a bit flatter than for the traditional off spinner and then impart a higher number of rotations on the ball that would make the ball drift like an off spinner but, once it landed on the leather, it would skid on with the arm giving the impression that it had gone ‘the other way’.
“As the leader of the spin attack, Nathan Lyon will need to take pages out of his book and show the way.”
But Chappell noted that Australia would also have problems to solve.
“David Warner is in patchy form and needs to improve his Test record in India; Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey, Travis Head and Cameron Green will be tested against better quality spin than they encountered in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“Marcus Labuschagne will be facing his first big test in the subcontinent; and Steve Smith‘s recent batting tweaks will be examined more keenly than against the West Indies, South Africa and in the BBL,” he wrote.
India Will Win If Game Goes To Day 5: Greg Chapell
The Pat Cummins-led No. 1 Test team, which has been on a roll since the pacer took over for Tim Paine, will view the series as the “last frontier.”
Australia’s recent success includes victories in the Ashes and subsequent series against Pakistan, the West Indies, and South Africa. They’ll be trying to win their first Indian series in 19 years.
They started off strong in the Pune Test on their most recent trip of India in 2017, but they ultimately lost the series 1-2. India, on the other side, has a record-breaking winning run of 15 series and has not lost at home in more than a decade.
“The Australians will have to summon every ounce of their talent and experience during the next month to succeed. India is no longer the mystery it once was. Tours are more regular and the IPL offers valuable exposure.
“Attrition takes a huge toll on touring teams. If India are in the contest on day five, they will win,” Chappell said.
Australia Must Get Wickets With The New Ball: Greg Chappell
The former skipper stated that Australia’s strategy will be to take wickets frequently.
“Delhi and Dharamshala will be a fortress for India. Nagpur is a red soil pitch on which batting is best on the first three days unless they produce a raging turner. In Ahmedabad there are red as well as black soil pitches and the state of the series will dictate what India order.
“To win, Australia must get wickets with the new ball. As the ball gets softer, they must bowl frugally and then reverse-swing the old ball. Spin is more of a weapon in India than in Australia, but we must always play our four best bowlers plus Cameron Green.”
The Australian lagend referenced Austrian chess player Rudolf Spielmann, who had remarked, “Play the opening like a book, the middlegame like a magician, and the endgame like a machine,” in comparing the India-Australian conflict to a game of chess.
“I have seen a lot of Tests in India and it is as much a battle of the mind as of physical skills. What works in India, is not guaranteed to work anywhere else. Winning in India takes pluck, planning, patience and persistence,” Chappell said.
Also Read: IND vs AUS: India Has Every Right To Produce Spin Friendly Tracks- John Wright Gives A Tight Slap To Ian Healy’s ‘Unfair’ Remark
Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah