Sports Cricket 27 Jan 2017 Pacers will be Austr ...

Pacers will be Australia’s best bet to win in India: Ian Chappell

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 27, 2017, 1:19 pm IST
Updated Jan 27, 2017, 1:19 pm IST
Australia will rely heavily on Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood on India tour. (Photo: AFP)
 Australia will rely heavily on Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood on India tour. (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: Australia have not won a Test in India since 2004, the last time they were in India in 2013, they were annihilated for a 4-0 whitewash. Aussie skipper Steve Smith will be hoping for a better show this time around.

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels selecting the right bowling combination against India will be a tough job for the team management. Australia have selected four spinners and three pace bowlers for the India tour.

“The first thing that strikes you about the Australian touring squad is the options that are available to the selectors once they decode the Indian conditions,” Chappell wrote in Mid-day.

“There are four slow bowlers with Nathan Lyon being the senior spinner. Two all-rounders have been included but only one spare batsman, Shaun Marsh, who is versatile enough to bat anywhere in the order. The option of which all-rounder to choose — the seamer or the spinner — could prove the most difficult leading into the first Test.”

Chappell writes that senior spinner Nathan Lyon might have to make way for all-rounder Glen Maxwell, if captain Smith opts for a left arm spinner. Maxwell will also provide the Australian lower-order the much-needed firepower.

“Maxwell is an intriguing player and it’s easy to see why selectors keep hoping he can turn potential into profitable returns. Despite his potential to destroy opposing attacks, he’ll be a difficult fit for an Australian team whose primary slow bowler is also an off-spinner.

"It almost means having to leave Lyon out of the side and partner Maxwell with one of the left-arm spinners to attain the right combination. Then there’s the added risk of Maxwell scoring a spell-binding thirty with shots flying in all directions, only to squander yet another promising innings by hitting one straight up in the air,” wrote Chappell.

On Australian pacers, Chappell wrote, “Nevertheless, it’s going to depend on a couple of factors. Firstly, the two injury prone speedsters would need to successfully negotiate some Sheffield Shield cricket. Then it would need Australia to be in a promising position after the opening two contests.

“There’s no point in adding either Cummins or Pattinson if Australia is already two Tests down. If Cummins or Pattinson were added to the squad, it would conjure up memories of when the West Indies (in the 80’s) and then South Africa (late 90’s) won in India, by relying predominantly on pace. Pace bowling success is probably Australia’s best chance of victory in India but they’ll also have to bat a whole lot better than they have in the recent past,” Chappell wrote.

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