‘If they fail, England will be in trouble’: Ian Chappell identifies the major issue with England’s batting line-up
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has reckoned that Indian team will begin as ‘favourites’ in the upcoming 4-match Test series against England. The big-ticket series starts in Chennai on February 5 and Chappell feels that the return of Virat Kohli will bolster the home team.
In his column on 'ESPNcricinfo', the former Aussie captain wrote, “India will start as favourites after an exhilarating victory over Australia, overcoming all obstacles. When you add the name Virat Kohli to the batting order, the team suddenly assumes a bulletproof cloak.”
“In also adding the names R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma to the list of available players, India take on an unbeatable appearance,” he added.
Chappell feels that touring party has some premium players in Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer but their top-order needs to prove their mettle on the Indian soil.
“The availability of a premium player in Ben Stokes who, like (Hardik) Pandya, provides all-round ability and selection flexibility, albeit at a higher level than the Indian, is a big plus. And Jofra Archer adds substantially to the quality of an already strong pace attack.
“However, it's the top of the England order, where another returning player, Rory Burns, will reside, that the scales tip in India's favour.
“India's top three feature an impressive Shubman Gill, a talented but flawed Rohit Sharma and the indomitable Cheteshwar Pujara, which places them well ahead of England's top order,” stated Chappell.
Chappell asserted that it will add a lot of pressure on Joe Root if the duo of Dom Silbey and Rory Burns fails against the Indian attack.
“Dom Sibley possesses the grit and determination required for success at the highest level but there are questions about his technique against the best international bowlers. Burns is another in the same category as Sibley, and if both players fail the challenges England will be in trouble unless Joe Root continues to score at his current freakish level.
“Zak Crawley, like his Indian counterpart Gill, is talented and has great potential. Nevertheless, his failure to contribute in Sri Lanka raises concerns that need to be put to rest quickly and there's no better place or time to do that than in India,” Chappell further wrote.