Team India will be hosting Australia for the much-awaited four-match Test series next month. The well-known Border Gavaskar trophy will be crucial to India’s chances to qualify for the World Test Championship final, scheduled to be played in June later this year; India is currently second in the table with 58.93 percent points to their name. On the other hand, Australia is comfortably at the top with 75.56 percentage points.
Ahead of the series, India witnessed a huge setback when one of their most consistent performers in the format – Rishabh Pant — faced severe injuries in a car crash last month. While Pant is out of danger, he will be missing competitive cricket for about 4-6 months as the India wicket-keeper batter sustained injuries to his head, back, and leg.
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In Pant’s absence, India has named Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat as two wicketkeepers in the squad for the first couple of Tests but the legendary Australian cricketer, Ian Chappell opines that the side will regardless be missing the 24-year-old wicketkeeper. Lavishing big praise on Pant, Chappell said that no batter can replicate Pant’s “desire to dominate bowlers.”
In his recent column for ESPNCricinfo, Ian Chappell wrote: “India also has some points to prove, not the least to do with how Pant’s replacement performs. The main thing India will lose from Pant’s unavailability is an excellent run rate, which came from his belligerent aggression. No one can replace Pant’s desire to dominate bowlers, so India have to rely on their top batters not only performing but also maintaining a good strike rate.”
Ian Chappell opines that it will be a huge task for India’s big three – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara – as they gear up to face Aussie spinner, Nathan Lyon.
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Elaborating the same, Ian Chappell wrote: “One of the main tasks for Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara will be to establish mental superiority over Lyon. If Australia can’t rely on Lyon claiming regular wickets at an acceptable rate, their bowling will then depend greatly on the “big three”.”