After losing the Test series against Australia, Team India has come under a lot of fire. On Friday, Ian Chappell joined the chorus to explain why India suffered a significant nine-wicket loss in the third game of the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023. (March 3). The player’s inclusion may give India’s bowling attack more balance, the former Australian great remarked, adding that he doesn’t understand why the Indian administration decided to keep Hardik Pandya out of Test matches.
India lost the third Test unexpectedly after obviously dominating the first two, and this has prompted cricket fans and ex-players to point to problems within the Indian team. During the third Test, both teams made two significant adjustments, with the hosts replacing KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami with Shubman Gill and Umesh Yadav.
The Indian spin all-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel, with the latter shining with a bat, deserve credit for India’s dominance in the first two Test matches. But Hardik, a fast all-rounder, gives the squad additional bowling depth, according to Chappell, who also criticized the management for excluding him from red-ball cricket for the previous four years.
“I don’t understand why Hardik Pandya isn’t in the Indian team. People keep telling me he can’t bowl so much. Again, you are listening to the medical people or having a chat with the cricket people. If Pandya wants to play, he should be on that side. He is a damn good batsman, he bowls pretty decently, and he is a damn good fielder. To get the right balance, Australia needed Cameron Green in India and I think India needs Hardik Pandya,” Chappell told ESPNCricinfo.
Hardik hasn’t played any first-class cricket in the past four years, though, so it’s unclear whether he still has any desire to play in Tests. Prior to being dropped owing to uneven performances, he had only scored 532 and taken 17 wickets from 11 Tests.
For the third Test, Australia was compelled to make two changes to their starting lineup, with David Warner and Pat Cummins being replaced by Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc who had recovered from their ailments. Green only bowled two overs and collected 21 runs, but his presence allowed Australia to select three specialist spinners, which had a huge impact on the game. Chappell also noted that Green’s addition gave Australia’s bowling attack balance and noted the benefit of bowling out India for just 109 runs in the first innings.
“It was a good break for Australia having Cameron Green there because it does give them the opportunity to play three spinners. The key to it in my opinion was bowling India out cheaply in the first innings. Once they did that, they got themselves a chance to a decent lead. It wasn’t a huge lead but on this pitch a pretty useful one. And then in the second innings only having to chase a low score,” Chappell added. Australia secured a place in the final of the World Test Championship with a win in Indore Test while India needs a draw or win in the last Test which is scheduled to start on March 9 in Ahmedabad.