India really going to miss Rishabh Pant: Ian Chappell

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.
Rishabh Pant (File Photo | AFP)
Rishabh Pant (File Photo | AFP)

NAGPUR: 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 here 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 is really going to really miss Rishabh Pant. The Australians will be happy. He is a counterattacker, the guy who keeps you awake are guys who score quickly and changes the 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.

You need to be proactive against Ashwin 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." Would love to see Lyon turn it against right-handers Nathan Lyon, with 400-plus Test wickets, knows how to bowl in India but Chappell would ideally like the wily 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 one 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." Don't play Agar for the heck of it Chappell is dead against the idea of Australia playing Ashton Agar as the second spinner just because he is a handy lower order batter.

"Australia should not get carried away by left and right combination. India have got one in Ashwin and Jadeja who are both very good bowlers. Agar is a guy, who averages 40. If he is picked for few runs down the order, there would be a temptation to play him as Cameron Green can't bowl. But that theory is rubbish," said Chappell.

"If Agar is not among your two best spinners, then don't pick him. Bowlers are there to pick wickets. It is up to batters to get runs. " Australia should have played Lance Morris before this series Chappell doesn't have too much faith in new age medical staff of cricket teams whose assessments are always hinged on the conservative side of things.

Asked about the absence of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc due to injuries, Chappell wants skipper Pat Cummins to speak to the bowlers individually.

"It depends on whom Cummins is listening to. Do the bowlers want to play in a Test? Medical men are always conservative and will always say 'give this guy rest as this can happen or that can happen'."

"If I was the captain, I will ask Josh and Mitch 'can you get through five days?' If they say we can't do, then we have to look at best available option. Lance Morris has got pace. They didn't pick him in Adelaide, so if they didn't pick him in Adelaide where there was bounce, why the hell will they pick him in Nagpur," he concluded.

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