Edited By: Aditya Maheshwari
Last Updated: January 29, 2023, 4:42 PM IST
Legendary Australia captain Ian Chappell feels that India will miss the services of Rishabh Pant in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The four-match Test series between India and Australia is going to be crucial for the hosts to cement a place in the World Test Championship final. However, the Asian giants will be without their star wicketkeeper batter Pant who was recently involved in a horrific car accident and is recovering from the injuries he sustained.
Pant played a monumental role in India’s historic triumph in Australia during the 2020-21 tour where he played a match-winning knock at the Gabba to stun the hosts.
Chappel believes that Pant’s unavailability is a big loss for the hosts as no one can replace him in the team because of his aggressive approach in red-ball cricket.
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“India also have some points to prove, not the least to do with how Pant’s replacement performs. The main thing India will lose from Pant’s unavailability is an excellent run rate, which came from his belligerent aggression. No one can replace Pant’s desire to dominate bowlers, so India have to rely on their top batters not only performing but also maintaining a good strike rate,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
The wicketkeeper batter was the only Indian in the 2022 ICC Test team of the year and he was all set to play in Border-Gavaskar Trophy but the car accident changed everything.
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Chappell suggested that the senior batters like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have to stamp their superiority over Nathan Lyon to put pressure on the Aussies.
“One of the main tasks for Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will be to establish mental superiority over Lyon. If Australia can’t rely on Lyon claiming regular wickets at an acceptable rate, their bowling will then depend greatly on the ‘big three’,” he added.
The visitors have picked just one spinner in the squad for the India tour as they will rely heavily on their star-studded pace attack to get the job done but it’s going to be a tricky job considering spin-friendly pitces in India.
“A lot of Australia’s faith leading into the tour is based on them winning in 2004-05, thanks to the success of their pace bowlers. Once again this needs to be tempered by the knowledge that the success was mainly based on two champions, Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie. So a lot will depend on the success or otherwise of Australia’s lead pace bowlers,” he added.
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