'I keep hearing he is very good against spin. To me, he is a panicker': Chappell slams India star after 3rd Test failure
The Australia legend didn't mince his words as he talked about the India batter following a disappointing outing on Day 1 of the third Test.
It was a dramatic morning on Day 1 of the third Test between India and Australia, as the hosts lost seven wickets in the first session after opting to bat in Indore. India were eventually bowled out on 109 on a pitch that is a spinner's paradise; with over 4 degree of average turn and the odd ball keeping low, the pitch – according to Australia legend Matthew Hayden – seemed a third day surface and received significant backlash from former cricketers and fans alike.
Virat Kohli was the highest scorer in the Indian innings and he registered 22 runs on the board; the side's middle-order faced a disappointing collapse, with Cheteshwar Pujara (1), Ravindra Jadeja (4), Shreyas Iyer (0), and KS Bharat (17) all falling cheaply. Former Australia captain Ian Chappell came down hard at the Indian batters – particularly at Iyer – following the end of day's play.
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Iyer is considered a strong player of spin in the Indian batting lineup but Chappell insisted he wasn't “convinced” with what he saw of the 28-year-old player.
“Cheteshwar Pujara is very jumpy. I think right through the series he has been very jumpy. I keep hearing that Shreyas Iyer is a very good player of spin bowling, but I haven't seen it yet, and I'm not convinced that he is. To me, he is a bit of a panicker,” Chappell said on ESPNCricinfo.
“There are some players in the Indian side that haven't convinced me that they're good players of spin bowling. I thought that the Australians spooked India early on. A couple of things happened with the pitch. The Australian spinners bowled very accurately. But what we saw was Australian-type batting from the Indians.”
Chappell further praised Usman Khawaja, who scored a valiant 60 on a tricky Indore surface. “When Australia batted, particularly [Usman] Khawaja, he was very good. [Marnus] Labuschagne had a good partnership with him. There was more of the Rohit Sharma batting when he got the century in Australia's innings. To me, it was Australia who outplayed India and definitely deserved to have the lead,” said the former Aussie captain.