India vs Australia 2023: Rohit Sharma’s Side are Really Going to Miss Rishabh Pant, Says Former Captain Ian Chappell
Rishabh Pant was badly injured in a road accident on December 30 and has undergone multiple surgeries to repair ligament damage in his knee and heel and has been ruled out of the Border Gavaskar Trophy beginning on February 9.
Team India will begin their quest to retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) when they taken on Australia in the first of four Test matches in Nagpur beginning Thursday (February 9). The home side, though, will miss the services of wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant – one of the heroes of last BGT triumph in Australia.
Pant was badly injured in a road accident on December 30 and has undergone multiple surgeries to repair ligament damage in his knee and heel. Former Australia 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 are really going to really miss Rishabh Pant. The Australians will be happy. He is a counter attacker, the guy who keep you awake are guys who score quickly and changes 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.
India are likely to hand a Test debut to KS Bharat to replace injured Pant in the four-match Test series.
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‘Need to be proactive against Ravichandran 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 Nathan 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 on 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.”
(with PTI inputs)