India vs Australia: Rohit Sharma could be Virat Kohli’s ally in the Indian batting line-up - Ian Chappell
Chappell backed Rohit Sharma to be drafted into the playing XI as that will give skipper Virat Kohli the advantage of having another batsman who is naturally comfortable against short-pitched bowling.Updated: Nov 28, 2018 13:57 IST
While the Indians are looking to make the most of Steve Smith and David Warner’s absence — banned for their role in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in South Africa in March — former Australia skipper Ian Chappell feels that this will make the bowling attack, led by Mitchell Starc, all the more keen to show the visitors that they are still champions when it comes to playing at home. The weakness in batting will charge the bowlers up feels the former Australia captain.
“Australia should not be under-estimated; they have a top-class attack, headed by three excellent fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins. As a result of three suspensions Australia will field a depleted batting line-up, which means their bowlers will be even more determined to limit the opposition’s scoring,” he wrote in his column for Hindustan Times.
Interestingly, Chappell also backed Rohit Sharma to be drafted into the playing XI as that will give skipper Virat Kohli the advantage of having another batsman who is naturally comfortable against short-pitched bowling feels the cricketer turned pundit.
“The Indian top three should be aware that the Australian pacemen will be seeking early scalps in order to get the redoubtable Virat Kohli in while the ball is still shiny. This leads to a selection conundrum. Do India bat the dogged Cheteshwar Pujara at three and hope he’ll wear the quickies down or do they gamble on Rohit Sharma who is technically well-equipped to tackle the short-pitched stuff aggressively? Kohli showed on the last tour of Australia that he’s extremely adept at dealing with short-pitched deliveries but it would be of great benefit to provide him with an ally in this confrontation,” he said.
India were whitewashed 4-0 when they were in Australia the last time, though current captain Virat Kohli made his presence felt with plenty of runs. A lot of onus will be on the Indian pace attack to deliver the goods once again after their terrific performances in South Africa and England earlier in the year. Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri have praised them time and again as the ‘best pace attack’ in Indian Test history.