Chappell points out not picking best team, batters based on one shot as blunders by Australia on India Test tour

Former Australia cricket captain Greg Chappell slammed the current team think-tank for being 2-0 behind in their ongoing Test tour of India, pointing out that the visitors made blunders by not picking their best team and batters basing their game on only one shot.

Former Australia cricket captain Greg Chappell slammed the current team think-tank for being 2-0 behind in their ongoing Test tour of India, pointing out that the visitors made blunders by not picking their best team and batters basing their game on only one shot.

Australia can’t win the Test series in India after going 2-0 behind in the four-match series. After losing the first Test by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur, the visitors lost the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test by six wickets in New Delhi. They will now play their third Test in Indore, starting from March 1.

“The Australian think-tank has made two major blunders: they didn’t pick their best team and they based their batting attack on one shot. With Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood injured for the first two Tests, the Australians were hamstrung, but the basic premise of playing your best bowlers still holds true. Spin is not our strength, so Pat Cummins and Scott Boland were the right choices, but they needed to bowl more,” wrote Chappell in his column for ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ on Saturday.

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He was also critical of the bowling changes made by Australia for the New Delhi Test, where they left out Boland to play three spinners, with Cummins bowling only 13 overs in the first innings and not bowling at all in the second essay.

“Not picking Boland for the second Test and electing to go with a spinner not ready for Test cricket was a fatal mistake. That Cummins under-bowled himself and failed to use the short ball on a wicket of variable bounce was another mistake. To complete the trifecta, it seems that no one saw fit to tell Cummins that he was under-bowling and that he should use the short ball.”

In the second Test in New Delhi, Australia had the slight edge at the end of day two. But on day three, they became over-proactive and panicky when six batters, including Cummins and his deputy Steve Smith, fell while playing the sweep shot on a slow pitch with low bounce.

It meant that Australia crashed to 113 all out in their second innings, which India chased down with six wickets in hand to win the Test within three days. Chappell came down heavily on the Australian batters for sweeping their way to a debacle in New Delhi.

“The next mistake was the wholesale, indiscriminate and ridiculous use of the sweep shot. The sweep is a high-risk shot for all but those who play it naturally. Adding it to your repertoire in spinning conditions can be sensible, but not if it is the only option. There are other shots that are less risky and likely to be more profitable but, because the sweep for most batsmen has to be pre-meditated, the other options invariably fall by the wayside.”

“One of the first things to learn about batting in Indian conditions is that you have more time than you realise. The main goal should be to survive the first couple of overs and rotate the strike. If you can survive that, then batting no longer seems as challenging as Fermat’s Last Theorem.”

Chappell signed off by pointing out that panicking will always ensure Australia will be at a loss with their shot selection against a formidable Indian bowling line-up. “To be fair, coming in against quality spinners in Indian conditions is one of the most challenging things in the game, but to be panicked into unnatural shots is not the answer to the problem.”

“One should be prepared to move quickly and must see the ball as it leaves the bowler’s hand. Panic is the batsman’s enemy because, with the mind racing, it is easy to miss seeing the ball out of the hand, which means most of the vital information is not picked up. Once panic sets in, poor shot selection is sure to follow.”

-IANS

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