Ian Chappell highlights Australia's weakness against spin bowling on turning pitches after Nagpur Test

Feb 12, 2023

Ian Chappell highlights Australia's weakness against spin bowling on turning pitches after Nagpur Test Image

Australia's heavy defeat by an innings and 132 runs to India in the first Test at Nagpur has exposed their frailties against good spin bowling on turning pitches, according to legendary Australian cricketer Ian Chappell, who has warned the visitors to adapt quickly to avoid the fate that other touring teams have suffered in the past.

"The first Test revealed Australia's vulnerability to good spin bowling on turning pitches. If they can ensure that this setback does not affect their mental capacity to cope in India, they will remain in the series. They are in big trouble if they waver."

"The reality is that India has evolved into a very strong side all over the world, with a unique understanding of how to win at home. If Australia, which has a weakness against spin in India, does not adapt quickly, they will suffer the same fate as other visiting sides "On Sunday, Chappell wrote a column for ESPNCricinfo.

There were numerous allegations of pitch doctoring in the run-up to the Nagpur Test. Now, Chappell has stated that the pitch was not difficult to play on for Australia. "In the case of the pitch, the noise was exactly that. Not surprisingly, it turned out to be a fairly typical first-day Indian red-soil wicket."

"As Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith demonstrated, it was far from impossible to play on, but Australia failed to post a challenging first-innings total. Allegations of pitch-doctoring in the media are nothing new."

"Players must ignore this minor game or it will have a negative impact on the visiting team. Far too much emphasis is placed on how pitches will play and on doctoring. It's important to remember that both teams must play on the same field."

Chappell also questioned the Australian team's selections for the Nagpur Test, particularly the omission of left-handed batter Travis Head, while praising debutant off-spinner Todd Murphy for taking seven wickets on debut.

"This match's selections were a mix of brave and perplexing choices. Despite his struggles against good spinners, Travis Head's omission was puzzling. Todd Murphy's selection in his first Test after only seven first-class games was brave. Nonetheless, it demonstrated great faith in Murphy's abilities."

"Murphy was economical while also taking wickets, and he was not afraid to bowl a leg-stump line to keep the Indian batters at bay. The issue was Australia's lack of first-innings runs, which forced the bowlers to perform the most difficult of tasks: take wickets while also keeping the batters at bay."

"In the end the choice Australia made, to favour economy over wicket-taking potential, quickly took its toll and India capitalised on bowlers tiring from a heavy workload."