Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes that the current Indian team which will be touring to England next month will have the best opportunity to beat the Three Lions at home. Stating that the Indian side has a better batting unit as compared to their English counterparts, Chappell also maintained that India’s bowling unit also has the ability to knock over the Britons.
In a column for espncricinfo Chapell wrote, “There’s a rare opportunity beckoning for India – the chance to beat both England and Australia in away Test series.”
Elucidating England’s porblems which might be exposed during the Test series, Chappell wrote, “England are in a state of flux after a devastating loss at Lord’s and then a less-than-convincing win over the predictably inconsistent Pakistan at Headingley. Australia’s problems are self-induced, with the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa ensuring their two best batsmen will be missing from the series against India.”
“A reasonably settled Indian side’s first hurdle is England. They will face that challenge boosted by the confidence that the hosts are no closer to solving the myriad problems that surfaced on their recent tour of Australia and New Zealand,” he added.
Explaining the batting woes at the top of the order for the Englishmen, Chappell said, “Adding to England’s frailties, Cook’s current partner, Keaton Jennings, is an already failed Test opener who has a porous defence. Previously, a visit from India would be a wonderful opportunity for struggling English openers to recapture their form, but the tourists now have a well-balanced attack that includes genuine pace and cagey seamers in addition to the traditionally strong spin bowling. England’s dicey batting order will face yet another stiff test.”
Outlining their problem in the bowling department, the former Aussie skipper opined that India have a stronger batting unit and if they can negate the initial movement on offer then a victory will not be too far. “In recent times, England have relied on swing bowling and a vibrant middle order to produce success at home. There is no doubt that the swing bowling of Jimmy Anderson will present the Indian line-up with a serious challenge, and if there’s movement off the seam, Stuart Broad will also be a handful. Nevertheless India have the stronger batting line-up of the two teams and their variety in attack could help negate England’s middle-order strength if the openers continue to fail. England are an enticing prospect for India before they even contemplate Australia’s woes,” Chappell concluded.