Ex-Australia captain suggests India could be ‘hit hard’ by missing injured players Jasprit Bumrah And Rishabh Pantswhose contributions might be lacking.
Moreover, the Indian team also suffered the blow of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul excluded from the final due to injuries. These absences could potentially weaken the strength and depth of the Indian squad.
Chappell’s assessment implies that Australia’s strong bowling squad, coupled with India’s injury problems and missing key players, could tip the balance in Australia’s favor for the Test World Championship final, scheduled for June 7-11.
Chappell also said injury prone Hardik Pandya not playing red ball cricket also harms India. Hardik last played a first-class game in 2018.
“Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant’s injuries are badly affecting India as they would be downright favorites with these two players.
“The somewhat surprising unavailability of the all-rounder Hardik Pandya is also hurting India, as he could have provided them with the final piece of the puzzle,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
The majority of Indian players enter the finals after two months of IPL, but Chappell thinks it might not affect them negatively after all.
Ishan Kishan replaces KL Rahul for the WTC final
“As it should be, it’s a tough game to predict. It’s mainly because of injury concerns and neither side has played a Test since a hard-fought streak ended earlier this year.
“To make matters even more difficult, many of the players involved only participated in the IPL with a view to the single test.
“While it may not seem like the ideal preparation, the opinion of former England batsman Ravi Bopara should be remembered. that he was ideally prepared because T20 got his feet moving and put him in a positive frame of mind,” he said, referring to Bopara’s successive hundreds in the Caribbean.
Chappell also feels that Australia’s attacking pace is just ahead of India while the Rohit Sharma-led side have the upper hand in the spin department.
“If Australia’s chic rhythm trio pat cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are available, making them slight favorites. They are good bowlers at all times, but England in early June should suit them.
“Nevertheless, an Indian-paced attack containing Mohammad ChamiMohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav are also strong and second only to the Australian trio in terms of wicket-taking ability.”
Team India awaits the WTC final
Mental toughness will be key in a unique test, said the former Australia captain.
“The team that displays the most resilience is likely to win as long as the contest is not unduly affected by bad weather. Being able to maintain a decent line and length under attack is now mandatory in the series the tougher, and a fully fit Australian attack should benefit if the opposition are overzealous,” Chappell said.
“A lot will therefore depend on how the hitters deal with the opposition’s talented pace attacks. Australia rely heavily on Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawajabut the enigmatic David Warner should not be overlooked.
“On the Indian side, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are a handful because they have enjoyed success in Test cricket. Their job will be tough against a strong Australian attack.
“Australian bowlers also need to pay close attention to Shubman Gill. He tends to play fearlessly and has a shot mentality that won’t change even on this momentous occasion.”
Given the conditions, he said Australia were slight favourites.
“With the game being played under English conditions, this slightly favors the strong Australian paced attack. However, as Bopara has shown, the value of IPL preparation for batting should never be underestimated.”
(With PTI inputs)