Former Australia player and India coach Greg Chappell believes Australia can win the upcoming high-profile four-match Test series as India are “vulnerable” this time with injuries to key players like Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah. While the swashbuckling keeper-batter Pant is ruled out for most part of the year as he continues to recover from injuries sustained during a horrific car crash, Indian pace ace Bumrah (back injury) does not figure in the Indian squad for the first two Tests.
“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 Rishbah Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah. They will rely heavily on Virat Kohli,” Chappell wrote in an opinion piece for ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
Premier spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who recovered from a knee injury and made a comeback in the Ranji Trophy last month, is in the Indian squad for the Test series beginning in Nagpur on Thursday.
“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.
Finger spinner Ashton Agar, who is Australia’s only left-arm tweaker in the squad, should be preferred to partner Nathan Lyon on turning tracks, Chappell said.
“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.”
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