Ian Chappell, the former Australian skipper has termed the recently concluded Test series between India and Australia as most entertaining since 2005 Ashes series.
In the month-long series, there were many twists and turns as the ball sometimes rolled towards Aussies camp whereas was in the Indian camp on some occasions but in the end, it was the home side that won the fourth Test to have the final say in the series and continue their winning streak.
This was the fourth straight series win for India in this home season starting from New Zealand.
Drama unfolded, allegations were made, heated exchanges were there in the series which provided much entertainment to the fans and to Ian Chappell as well,
“The recent series between India and Australia showcased many of the good things about Test cricket and a few of the unsightly. It was the most entertaining series I’ve watched since the thrilling and dynamic Ashes battle of 2005.
“First the good things; the attributes administrators ought to highlight in promoting Test cricket.
“The most important ingredient was the competitiveness of the two teams. Test cricket needs more teams who can compete both at home and away. The administrators need to encourage improvement in the standard of the lowly ranked Test teams before they think about expanding the competition.
“Some of the pitches came in for criticism but they provided exhilarating contests where the fan or viewer felt something was about to happen every ball. The fourth Test pitch was a beauty, where everyone had a chance to display their talent,” Chappell said.
He further added that it was a masterstroke by Rahane to use Kuldeep as a surprising factor in the final Test, where the Chinaman bowler replaced injured skipper Virat Kohli,
“Speaking of captains, there was some excellent leadership in the series. However, the stand-in Ajinkya Rahane was outstanding in the deciding Test. His decisive use of left-arm chinaman debutant Kuldeep Yadav in the first innings and the brave way he sought second innings wickets in a tight contest were standout examples of how a captain can influence a game.
“Rahane then placed the trophy firmly in India’s hands when he was pro-active in the run chase and ended Patrick Cummins fiery attempt to provoke a collapse. Good, imaginative captaincy is crucial to the success of Test cricket,” the former Aussie skipper added.
Chappell also commented on the controversy which sparked when Murali Vijay caught Josh Hazlewood on day three of the final Test at Dharamsala but the decision was overturned by third umpire and Steven Smith, the Australia skipper called Murali Vijay a cheat. Chappell freed Vijay of such charges and said,
“A fielder doesn’t catch the ball with his fingers pointing straight towards the ground. He only does that when he’s intercepting a ball that has bounced in front of him. Murali Vijay had his fingers curled under the ball, it’s just that the foreshortening effect of the cameras made it appear otherwise on one replay. Not only does reviewing these decisions often bring about the wrong conclusion – on-field umpire Ian Gould’s soft signal was out – it also implies the fielder is a cheat. The evidence is flawed and should be thrown out of court.”
The matter was put to rest when Australian skipper Steven Smith apologised for all the drama that unfolded and somehow gave an indication that he was wrong in saying so.
It was entertaining series- the best way to sign off the long home season before the start of one and a half month-long jamboree in form of Indian Premier League (IPL).