India really going to miss Rishabh Pant in Australia Test series, says Ian Chappell

Chappell feels Ravichandran Ashwin will certainly be the biggest threat to Australia in the four-Test series


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India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. — AFP file
India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. — AFP file

Published: Mon 6 Feb 2023, 7:58 PM

Former captain Ian Chappell feels Rishabh Pant's presence would have given sleepless nights to Australia captain Pat Cummins but even then India would start firm favourites in the upcoming four-match Test series beginning in Nagpur on Thursday.

Pant met with a horrific car accident in December last year and is yet to be discharged from the hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries on his knee and heel.

"India are really going to really miss Rishabh Pant. The Australians will be happy. He is a counter attacker, the guy who keep you awake are guys who score quickly and changes game in one session. Pant was one such player," Chappell said during an interaction organised by Star Sports, the official broadcasters of the Test series for the Border Gavaskar Trophy.

Chappell, one of the most respected voices in world cricket, feels that Ravichandran Ashwin will certainly be the biggest threat but the Australia batters need to be proactive against him.

"Why is Ashwin likely to be the threat? Because he is a smart cricketer. Ashwin will always be a problem. Now, if you let him bowl the way he wants to bowl, you are in trouble. He will be a threat to Australia throughout. They have got to be proactive," Chappell said.

"You got to be thinking about being proactive. If you are not dictating terms, then you are in trouble. You have to get singles and rotate the strike. He (Ashwin) then has to change (his strategy against) whom he is bowling to then."

Nathan Lyon, with 400-plus Test wickets, knows how to bowl in India but Chappell would ideally like the wily Australian off-spinner to also get his deliveries to drift away from right-handers.

Chappell then explained Lyon's methods.

"You judge Lyon by how many runs are right handers scoring against him on the on-side. If there are lot of singles, doubles, fours being scored on on side by right handers, then he is bowling too straight.

"One thing that Lyon could try and do better is to curve the ball away from right handers. Really good off-spinners curve the ball away from right handers and that opens up opportunities for batters to hit on the off side. And then when you turn it back in, you get the chance to get bowled, bat-pad, leg before," he further explained.

"For India, it is important that they don't let Lyon dominate them. If Lyon dominates, it becomes easy for Pat Cummins to rotate his fast bowlers and he doesnt have to bowl both speedsters from both ends."


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