Former Australia captain Ian Chappell thinks India will start as a favorite in the Test series against England due to a high-quality attack with plenty of depth and a higher order that is more consistent than the visitors. What should also bolster the home team is the addition of captain Virat Kohli to a strong batting line-up and their incredible recent win in Australia. “India starts as a favorite after a thrilling win over Australia, overcoming all obstacles. Adding the name Virat Kohli to the batting order suddenly makes the team assume a bulletproof cloak,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Adding the names R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma to the list of available players also gives India an unbeatable appearance.”
The big ticket series kicks off February 5 in Chennai.
Chappell believes India’s formidable top position could tip the scales in favor of the home side, despite England’s 2-0 sweep against Sri Lanka recently.
“… The availability of a premium player in Ben Stokes who, like (Hardik) Pandya, offers all-round capabilities and selection flexibility, albeit at a higher level than the Indian, is a big plus. And Jofra Archer contributes substantially. to the quality of an already fast paced attack. “
“However, it is the pinnacle of the English order, where another returning player, Rory Burns, will reside, tipping the scales in India’s favor.”
“India’s top three features an impressive Shubman Gill, a talented but flawed Rohit Sharma and the indomitable Cheteshwar Pujara, putting them well above the English top spot.”
He says it will put a lot of pressure on Joe Root if Dom Silbey and Rory Burns’ duo fail.
“Dom Sibley has the persistence and determination necessary for success at the highest level, but there are questions about his technique against the best international bowlers.
“Burns is another in the same category as Sibley, and if both players fail England will be in trouble unless Joe Root continues to score at his current erratic level.”
Zak Crawley, like his Indian counterpart Gill, is talented and has great potential. Nevertheless, his inability to contribute in Sri Lanka raises concerns that need to be quickly reassured and there is no better place or time to do so than in India. “
He also talked about both teams’ bowling attack and said there isn’t much of a difference in that department.
Archer’s presence, along with the skill and experience of stalwarts Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, would normally give England an edge over the pace division.
However, India’s improvement in that category is amply illustrated by their achievement in matching Australia’s acclaimed tempo attack in two consecutive away games.
“India now not only has quality bowling, but they have it in reassuring quantities according to the depth shown in Australia.”
Even the middle ranking of both teams is equally strong, according to Chappell.
Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant and the potential addition of Pandya have positioned India well to take full advantage of a good start.
“England is placed with Stokes and Jos Buttler in the same way as their deadly weapons. Ollie Pope’s possible return would add some reliability to the threatening nature of that part of the battle line.
But Buttler’s departure after just one test and the possible return of Ravindra Jadeja to the Indian line-up would continue to swing the scales in favor of the home side.
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