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'India's best chance to win in Aus'

Press Trust Of India
Dec 20, 2011 at 03:45pm IST

Mumbai: The upcoming four-Test rubber against Australia is India's best opportunity to win a series down under, feels former Australia skipper Ian Chappell.

"The Indian players should think that this is their best chance to win in Australia. They (Australians) are very young.

The Australian team may have good days, but they are very inconsistent," he said during a panel discussion at the Raj Singh Dungarpur World Cricket Summit here last night.

India's best chance to win in Aus: Chappell

Ian Chappell said the major worry for Australia was the injuries to key players.

Former England captain Mike Brearley and Indian cricketers - Kapil Dev, Sanjay Manjrekar and Ajay Jadeja - were among others, who were part of the discussion.

Chappell named flamboyant Indian opener Virender Sehwag and experienced seamer Zaheer Khan as the players, who could play a critical role for India in the series.

"Sehwag is the sort of player, who would keep the opposition batsmen awake at night. He scores quickly and makes big runs. Zaheer has the habit of taking early wickets and taking five-wicket hauls. Both give their team maximum time to win a Test," he said.

Chappell said the major worry for Australia was the injuries to key players.

"One of the main concerns for Australia is injuries.

Their players have suffered ridiculous number of injuries.

Shaun Marsh (who has a back injury), has not played in the last seven weeks," he said.

All-rounder Shane Watson, left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson, young sensation Pat Cummins are among several important Aussie players, who have injury concerns.

He was also of the view that former skipper Ricky Ponting should soon take a decision on his retirement, before the selectors are forced to drop him.

"Ricky is struggling. He may still make runs, he is a fine player. He knows how to survive. If he gets over 20-30 runs, he will make a big score, but not as consistently as he did earlier. It also doesn't help having a former skipper in the team, though I must say, he has handled himself very well and let Michael Clarke do the decision making.

"If Australia has 2-3 good young players, he might be gone. I would like to see Ricky make that decision himself. I would hate to see him getting dropped. One of the selectors should tell him that it's time to go," he said.

Kapil said India would have to show a lot of commitment to do well in Australia.

"I would like to see commitment from everyone. The entire country is obsessed about whether Sachin (Tendulkar) will get his 100th hundred or not, whereas the question should be whether India can win or not.

"If they don't have such commitment, India won't be able to do well. The senior cricketers have to push and start getting things done from youngsters. It is the history of Indian cricket that those, who are out of form, regain form against India," he said.

Kapil was also critical of the Indian fast bowlers for getting injured regularly.

"With technology coming, they believe in working on their body. Today, they are satisfied bowling 5-6 overs that too at 120-130kmph. On the second day of a Test in England, your captain (wicketkeeper M S Dhoni) is bowling. The young boys have to bowl long spells in Ranji Trophy. IPL is good, but, if they are satisfied with bowling four overs, then we can't have great bowlers," he said.

Brearley said, the Australian team, which is undergoing a transitional phase, will make a comeback soon.

"They are not an established strong team and are in the process of uncertainty. But, they are a fairly determined group of people. They would come back hard and perhaps achieve better results," he said.

Sanjay Manjrekar said the India-Australia series will confirm whether the disastrous England tour was just a blip or something was indeed wrong with Dhoni's boys.

"I felt that the England tour was more than a blip. This tour will confirm whether it was an aberration or there is something more to worry about."

The former India batsman said, the team's approach while embarking on an overseas tour had changed significantly and they did not suffer from inferiority complex now.

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