The 78-year-old former Australia skipper is globally known for his intelligent views on the game and his straightforward manner of telling about them.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes the Indian and Australian cricketers will get some “challenging” practice during the 13th season of the Indian Premier League ahead of their four-match Tets series against each other.
Indian players will fly directly to Australia after the IPL concludes on November 10 for the high-profile tour which is likely to begin with a T20 series followed by four Tests and ODIs. The IPL begins in Abu Dhabi on September 19.
Chappell believes the cash-rich tournament can be a blessing in disguise for the both the Indians and the Australians as most of them have had zero or very little action on the field due to the pandemic.
“One thing is certain: where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the better players are dedicated to finding a solution,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.com.
“In case of Indian players, and some of the Australians, they will at least have some challenging IPL cricket in the lead-up to the December series,” he added.
Chappell admitted the IPL “may not seem like ideal preparation for a tough Test series in Australia” but he recalled how former England batsman Ravi Bopara had taken advantage of the tournament in 2009 before Test series against the West Indies.
“After a stint in the IPL, Bopara was asked on return to England if this was appropriate preparation for a Test match. He responded by saying that ‘looking to score at every opportunity gets your feet moving positively’. He proved his point emphatically by scoring back-to-back centuries against West Indies.”
The 76-year-old legend said with a host of health and safety protocols in place, it is difficult for visiting teams to prevail over home sides in the COVID-19 era.
“With venue bubbles, isolation rules, social distancing, and a number of changes to playing conditions, adapting to international competition has been testing for players. It’s made life difficult and different even in a team environment but imagine the individual’s dilemma in enforced isolation with a tour looming,” he said.
“The physical preparation is not so difficult, especially for self-starters, but how do you stay in cricket shape?”
But the former captain said the Indians very well understand the stakes associated with the tour of Australia and will leave no stone unturned in their preparations for the series.
“The Indian players could well adopt this attitude for a series in Australia that will impact the Border-Gavaskar trophy, the World Test Championship, and their personal pride.
“It’s unlikely India will have the luxury of lead-up matches against tough opposition. More likely it will be intra-squad games, which can be helpful if selection is judicious and pits good bowlers against equally talented batsmen. The downside is the fast bowlers are often wary of injuring their own players,” he said.
With PTI inputs