Australian legend Ian Chappell slams irrational selection; cites Rohit Sharma’s example on how to bat

Ian Chappell
Image Source : IANS Ian Chappell

Australian batters have failed to apply themselves at all in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy and it was on full display with they batted in the 2nd innings of the Delhi Test. Now, Ian Chappell, in his column for ESPNCricinfo, said that sweeping is not the answer to everything in India and it should only be used when needed. 

Sweeping Not The Answer

“Sweeping regularly is not the answer to playing good spin bowling, and anyone who says so is talking through his hat. The odd player is very good at sweeping and should utilise the shot, but for the majority, there are better ways. Any good spin bowler who makes the ball bounce is likely to expose the dangers in sweeping constantly. It should have been obvious in Australia’s build-up what kinds of batting strategies needed to be used in India. The most beneficial are to watch the ball closely, more so than in Australia, and that there is a fraction more time than you think,” Chappell wrote.

Not Impossible

“Once a batter understands about the extra time on slightly slower Indian pitches, he can work the ball into a gap to collect precious runs. Those runs, especially early in an innings, when survival is treacherous, can frustrate even the best spinners,” Ian added.  Australia have already lost the Border-Gavaskar trophy and now, all they can hope is to make a grand comeback to at least level the series. 

He went on to give Rohit Sharma‘s example to reason that batting isn’t impossible in these conditions. “A successful player needs to quickly work out how to survive the first ten minutes on a typical Indian pitch that encourages spin, and hope he enjoys a share of luck. If he plays sensibly, like Rohit Sharma has admirably shown during the series, batting isn’t impossible on testing Indian pitches.”

Irrational Selection

He ended by pulling up the selectors for their irrational selection and their thinking that success playing against spinners on Australian pitches will translate to success in India.

“Selectors can be fooled into thinking that playing spin bowling well in Australia automatically means success will follow on Indian pitches. That isn’t so but if the method in Australia is a sound one, selectors should assume it could lead to success in India. Australia’s selection on this tour has been awfully inconsistent and at times irrational. Getting selection right makes for an air of calm, which, along with effectively putting a stop to dressing-room tantrums, can aid team spirit,” he wrote. 

“The Australian cricket team is very good at many venues around the cricket world but alarm bells should have rung long ago about the trip to India,” he added. 

The 3rd Test begins on March 1 and will be played at Holkar Stadium, Indore. 

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