Expects England fightback following losses in Pakistan December 20, 2005

England will come at India hard, says Chappell

Cricinfo staff

Greg Chappell and his side have a lot of hard work to do in the coming months © Getty Images
Greg Chappell, India's coach, is wary of England despite their Test and one-day series losses to Pakistan. England, he believes, will travel to India in the new year a stronger side, having learnt from their failures in Pakistan.

"I would have preferred if England had done a bit better, softened Pakistan up for us and not got the wake-up call that they got," Chappell told BBC's Test Match Special. "They'll be better prepared to come to India than they were for Pakistan." Chappell is also worried that Pakistan will be waiting confidently for India when they tour the country in January 2006.

Chappell cited England's batting capitulation in the first Test at Multan as decisive in their fortunes, but warned that they would provide India with a much stronger challenge. "I wouldn't read too much into it. I still think they're a good side - they showed that against Australia," he said. "But for a poor session or two on the final day of the first Test the Pakistan tour could have been very different."

Questioned as to England opting for just two warm-up matches going into the series, Chappell stated that this was perhaps the only option for a touring side. "Three weeks of preparation wouldn't necessarily be any better. In the modern era you've got to adjust pretty quickly," he said. "I'm sure there are better ways to do it but I'm not sure you can lay the blame anywhere. Australia struggled in the subcontinent until they had been here four or five times in quick succession and finally learnt what it took to be successful."

Pakistan host India for three Tests, the first of which begins at Lahore on January 16, while India host England for three Tests and seven ODIs in February-March.