Former Australia Captain Ian Chappell Predicts India's Challenge in WTC Final Due to Key Player Injuries

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Mon, 22/05/2023
Former Australia Captain Ian Chappell Predicts India's Challenge in WTC Final Due to Key Player Injuries
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In a recent column for ESPNCricinfo, former Australia captain Ian Chappell voiced his concerns over India's chances in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, scheduled to take place at The Oval from June 7-11. Chappell highlighted the absence of injured cricketers Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, emphasizing that their unavailability would greatly impact India's performance in the crucial match.

Chappell also expressed surprise at the unavailability of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who last played a Test match in 2018. He believed Pandya's presence could have provided India with the final piece of the puzzle in their lineup for the one-off finale. The trio's absence, along with injuries to Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, further added to India's challenges ahead of the WTC final.

According to Chappell, Australia's fast-bowling attack holds a slight advantage over India, particularly if their formidable pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood are available for the match. However, Chappell acknowledged India's upper hand in the spin-bowling department, attributing it to the presence of Ravindra Jadeja and the luxury of including the efficient R Ashwin. He noted that while Nathan Lyon is a good bowler, he would be Australia's sole spinner. Chappell also mentioned that all-rounder Cameron Green's genuine pace would be well suited to the English conditions.

Highlighting the significance of mental resilience, Chappell emphasized that it would play a crucial role in the outcome of the WTC final. He cautioned Australia against giving in-form batsman Shubman Gill any easy opportunities to score boundaries, as the talented Indian opener possesses a fearless stroke-making mentality.

Chappell further emphasized the importance of the batters' approach against the formidable pace attacks of both teams. Australia relies heavily on the big-scoring ability of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Usman Khawaja, while Chappell reminded readers not to overlook the danger posed by the enigmatic David Warner. For India, the trio of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Cheteshwar Pujara was highlighted as a handful due to their successful track record in Test cricket.

Chappell concluded by cautioning the Australian bowlers about the threat posed by Shubman Gill, who plays fearlessly and possesses a natural inclination towards scoring boundaries. If given the freedom to attack, Gill could prove to be a headache for the Australian team.

As the highly anticipated WTC final draws near, cricket enthusiasts and fans alike eagerly await the clash between these two cricketing giants, with India facing a challenge to overcome their injury setbacks and perform at their best against a formidable Australian side.