Former Australian captain Ian Chappell wrote in his column for “The Daily Telegraph” about his views on the upcoming limited-overs series between Australia and India in Australia. The tour contains five-match ODI series and three-match T20I series.
Chappell wrote, “Following a lackluster Test season, the public is thirsty for some meaningful contests. What looms is a battle between the current (Australia) and previous (India) ODI World Cup holders. MS Dhoni will provide a true test for Australia and Steve Smith,”
He added, “India has the big names and the talent to push Australia but I don’t see them beating the home side, as both teams ramp up their quest for another world title (World T20 in March-April in India). Australia will have a psychological advantage in the first two contests.”
Chappell is not happy about the non-inclusion of Australian pacer James Pattinson in the Australian squad for the first two ODI matches. Chappell expressed his thinking, “If Australia is looking to inflict serious psychological damage on India prior to World T20, then why not unleash aggressive Pattinson on the bouncy WACA and Gabba? Especially as India’s batting line-up, while talented, is one specialist short.
“Australia, on the other hand, has a deep line-up. Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade and James Faulkner can all either capitalise on a fast start from dashing David Warner and Aaron Finch, or resurrect an innings that has gone awry at the top.”
The elder Chappell thinks that India may suffer during the Australia tour due to the lack of all-rounders. The 72 –years old cricketer wrote, “India does not have the luxury of numerous all-rounders. While they have a very talented and aggressive top four, headed by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, if they lose early wickets they then have to play conservatively.”
He added, “This makes Australia the team most likely to post a huge first-innings target, with India’s best chance of victory coming in a tight run chase where Dhoni produces a trademark well-timed finishing flourish. If Australia only manages to set India reasonable targets, then the likes of Rohit and Kohli are more than capable of setting the table for Dhoni to demolish the spread.”
Chappell thinks that Australian batsman will target Indian fast bowlers in the series due to the past experiences. He wrote, “In the 2011-12 WACA Test, Warner scored a blazing 180 and a couple of the current Indian fast bowling attack were on the receiving end of that slaughter. In addition, Finch and Smith left a mark on the Indians in the World Cup semifinal win at the SCG. Once again it was the Indian fast bowlers who were plundered.
“Both Warner and Finch are capable of pulverising the often wayward pace bowlers and, if this happens, India will find it difficult at the WACA and the Gabba to reverse the trend with their spin bowling trumps.
“The likely plan for Australia in this series will be to plunder the faster bowlers and milk the spinners. India, on the other hand, will be searching for chinks in the Australian armour on this tour, safe in the knowledge that they already have a blueprint for victory in home conditions.”
Chappell also expressed his view about the two skippers. He wrote, “While Steve Smith has proved to be a successful Test captain, he’s up against MS Dhoni, a leader who has a glittering pedigree in the short forms of the game.
“Dhoni is a cagey player and captain in these versions, with a World Cup and a World T20 trophy on his CV. As the next major T20 tournament will be held in India (where he claimed the 2011 World Cup), he has every right to feel confident about his team’s chances. However, Smith will be buoyed by Australia inflicting a heavy defeat on India in the last World Cup semifinal.”