Ian Chappell heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s Indian Test side and also backed Rohit Sharma to take up the vice-captain’s role from Ajinkya Rahane, who didn’t find a place in the Australian’s suggested XI.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell hailed the Indian Test side for their all-around capabilities and “substantial depth” after they put up yet another outstanding show on an overseas tour under Virat Kohli.
Ian Chappell: Undoubtedly India Is A Very Good Team Which Was Proved In Australia And England Tours
Each and every player who got a chance to play for India stood up for the team on one or more occasions to help them take the upper hand which is why the visitors were the favourites to win the series instead of hosts England. Ian Chappell, who has been vocal in his admiration for this Indian team, heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s side once again and also gave his opinion on what could be their best combination, according to him.
“There’s no doubt that India are a very good all-round team. They have conclusively proved it by winning consecutive series in Australia and now having had success in England, albeit Covid-affected, while they are virtually unbeatable at home.
“However, that isn’t to say they can’t improve. That’s how good teams remain at or near the top – by constantly searching for ways to be better,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
Ian Chappell also urged the Indian selectors to fit in Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya in the Test team’s middle order to further improve the balance.
“India’s best combination includes R Ashwin. He is a fine bowler under all conditions, as he proved in Australia, so India needs to find a way to fit him into the XI. In trying to find a balance between the right- and left-hand batters in the middle order at The Oval, they may have inadvertently stumbled on the solution – Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5. “
“The ideal player would be a fully fit Hardik Pandya, but they do have a second choice in Shardul Thakur. That is the great strength of this Indian side. They have substantial depth. Tweaking the Indian middle order to accommodate the skills of Ashwin should be a priority for the selectors. It’s a scary thought for the other Test sides that Virat Kohli’s highly successful team can be improved.”
Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence from the playing XI for the fourth Test was criticized by several experts. Cricket experts and fans were calling for Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the XI after India lost the third Test by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley but he was ignored for the fourth time on the ongoing tour.
Ian Chappell Backs Rohit Sharma To Take Up Vice Captain’s Role
“The only downside (of adding Ashwin and Pandya) would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” Chappell said.
The Virat Kohli-led side marched to an emphatic 157-run win over England in the 4th Test to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. This was also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years. Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings.