Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Ian Chappel Backs Pandya, Thinks of him as an Asset!

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In his column on ESPNCricinfo, Ian Chappell has said that if Team India selects Hardik Pandya, it would be a  great help in the Test Series against Australia. The medium-pacer, big-hitting cricketer can help in India’s limited over set up. Chappell backs Pandya and feels he would be a great asset for India. 

“It will help if Hardik Pandya is available. He gives India an extra bowling option to maintain the pressure when the leading fast bowlers need a rest,” Ian Chappel wrote. 

The 26-years-old cricketer

Pandya’s Test Cricket Career:

Hardik Pandya last appeared in Tests in the year 2018. Later on, he suffered a severe career-threatening back injury.  He has recently talked about how challenging it will be for him to continue the limited-overs game due to his injury-prone back. the 26-year-old batsman had surgery last year that has restricted his performance. He also said that he understands how important he is in the limited-overs format.

“This is Pandya’s chance to gradually build up overs in the three Tests before the SCG match, where he could act as the third seamer so that a second spinner can be included,” Chappell said. “Having Pandya at seven would necessitate Rishabh Pant keeping and batting at six.”

Chappel and Pandya

Chappell also spoke how Indian selectors will have to face a tough challenge in selecting from the very talented Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

“Choosing a spinner will prove a major headache for the Indian selectors. R Ashwin has a great overall record, but not so much in Australia. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round talents and improved bowling form make him a legitimate challenger, while Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist-spin is the biggest wicket-taking threat on Australian pitches. The decision will call for brave selections,” he added.

The Australian Team

After seven decades India had victory over Australia in 2018-2019 under the captaincy of Australia. In that particular series, David Warner and Steve Smith were not present as they were banned for the ball-tampering. Now that they are back, it would be a tough call for the Indian team as the Australian team is way stronger now. 

Pandya’s performance in Test, against England

“India’s biggest challenge will be navigating a strong Australian batting line-up. In addition to Smith and Warner, the meteoric rise of Marnus Labuschagne at No. 3 has helped solidify the batting,” Chappell wrote. “Australia are now far less reliant for success on big contributions from Smith and Warner,” he added.

For the team of Australia, Ian is not confident about the opener, Joe Burns. “The pace bowling is in great shape, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson forming a potent quartet. The spinner is a simple decision – Nathan Lyon and then daylight.” 

“The batting line-up is not as clear cut. The recently announced contract list suggests Joe Burns will be Warner’s opening partner. Burns is vulnerable early and this is India’s big opportunity to first get at Labuschagne and then Smith while the ball is new.”

“Australia’s middle order is an uncertain quantity, with Travis Head, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh vying for two spots. That middle-order fragility highlights the rewards on offer for keeping Smith, Warner and Labuschagne in check,” the former captain added. 

Pandya in Test Cricket
India’s Hardik Pandya celebrates after scoring a century

Chappell’s Advice for India

Ian Chappell also said that India should exploit the opening partner of David Warner. Warner’s opening partner is an area of weakness that India needs to fully exploit, but keeping the ‘big three’ quiet should be the attack’s main focus,” he said.

Chappell also feels that Australia’s bowling attack is quite strong enough that will ensure that the Indian team including Kohli and Pujara, who was the star for India’s victory last time, are kept in check. 

“Australia’s strong attack should restrict India’s scoring to reasonable levels despite the daunting presence of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. This heavyweight bout will be decided by who punches above their weight – Australia’s ‘big three’ or India’s ‘big bats’,” he added. Read More.

The India Tour of Australia is soon going to begin in October and last till January 2021. with the constant speculations on the debate between Kohli and Smith and now when Chappell backs Pandya, the fans are becoming more excited about the game. The cricket fans are waiting eagerly to watch the grand format of the game and witness a clash that will be remembered. 

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