India need Sehwag and Zaheer to fire together: Chappell
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell feels Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan's form will be crucial to India's success in the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, starting on December 26.cricket Updated: Dec 17, 2011 20:26 IST
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell feels Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan's form will be crucial to India's success in the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, starting on December 26.
"Sehwag makes big scores quickly and Zaheer has the ability to claim five-wicket hauls, two major ingredients when it comes to winning Test matches," Chappell said.
He said the Indian opener's duel with James Pattinson will shape the series.
"Sehwag's confrontation with Pattinson will not only be a highlight of the summer, it could well shape the series. Pattinson has a big advantage over most other opening bowlers who have been challenged by the belligerently brilliant Sehwag -- he is led by a captain who isn't easily intimidated and won't cower behind a containment strategy," Chappell insisted.
He also felt India's bowling doesn't match up to the Kiwi attack in favourable conditions, adding that the struggling Aussie batsmen can relax if Zaheer is not fully fit as the visitors lack proven swing bowlers barring the left-armer.
"If the local curators continue to leave grass on the pitches, it will suit our emerging pace attack. The sight of greenish pitches will have the Indian batsmen reeling - and consequently the Australian pace bowlers will have a psychological advantage.
"However, this shouldn't be taken for granted because the Indian line-up is very experienced and talented. An hour of carnage at the hands of the combustible Virender Sehwag and Australia could just as easily be at a disadvantage," Chappell wrote in his column in the 'Herald Sun'.
Chappell said the venues will slightly favour Australia.
"The SCG is the only ground where India might claim a spin advantage, and the WACA should definitely suit Australia. Both the MCG and Adelaide Oval will encourage the pacemen early. If Aussies can keep Sehwag under control and find the consistency in their batting order to neutralise Zaheer, they will greatly increase their chances of defeating India."