Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell suggested improvements for the current Indian Test team while conceding that Virat Kohli-led side is a very good all-round outfit that has proven its potential lately.
Chappell reckoned that Team India needed to find the best balance, especially the middle order, to stay on top. He even suggested three players who could take vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s place at number 5 in the test batting list.
Rahane has especially struggled to score runs since his century in Melbourne against Australia last year. The experienced boy was very inconsistent and scored only 372 runs in 11 Tests at an awful average of 19.57.
Chappell suggested the names of the wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh pants, all-inclusive pair Ravindra Jadeja, en Hardik Pandya to form a strong middle order. He also chose Ravichandran Ashwin to balance the side perfectly.
A middle order read by Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Pandya and Ashwin should deliver the runs expected from the division. With three fast bowlers to follow, the batting is supported by a versatile attack. It is the advantage of a strong, balanced attack – you do not need big scores to chase the victory, “he said. Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
The 77-year-old believed that the advantage of such a middle order is that it is interchangeable under match situations. Chappell felt that the trio of Pant, Jadeja and Pandya could all bat at number five and also could be dealt with according to the circumstances of a given match.
‘The other good point of the middle order is that it is interchangeable. Skilled, Pant is the best batter of fate. He can hold back if the situation requires it, so he could easily handle number 5, especially as India’s first bat. However, if he had a long period in the field, he could shift the order so that Jadeja could come in at five. “Pandya also has the potential to handle number 5, and if he is encouraged, he can fulfill the role.” added the former Aussie captain.
The South Australian also acknowledges the disadvantage of Rahane’s absence, as India would lose a player with tactical input. But Chappell said it could be compensated by making Rohit Sharma as vice-captain.
“The only downside would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip field for the spinners. “Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an award-winning captain, and he can handle the role of vice-captain.” Chappell added further.