December 18, 2011

Clarke should move up to No. 3

Ponting is on his way out and there is no one else experienced enough to bat at that position. The captain must lead from the front
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As strange as it may sound, there could be some relief in sight for Australia's beleaguered batsmen. Despite their No. 3 ranking, India's bowling doesn't match up as well as the New Zealand attack did in favourable conditions. The first two Tests were played in the perfect conditions for swing and seam bowling, which is the strength of New Zealand's bowlers and the Achilles heel of the Australian batting line-up.

Unless Zaheer Khan is fully fit, India aren't so well-endowed when it comes to proven swing bowlers. If the local curators continue to leave grass on the pitches, as they have done over the past couple of summers, it will suit Australia's emerging pace attack.

The sight of greenish pitches will have the Indian batsmen reeling, and consequently the Australian pace bowlers will have a psychological advantage. However, this shouldn't be taken for granted, because the Indian line-up is very experienced and talented. An hour of carnage at the hands of the highly combustible Virender Sehwag and Australia could just as easily be at a disadvantage.

While the Australian attack has recently shown encouraging signs, the batting has been woefully inconsistent. The quickest way to rectify that problem is to sort out the top order; the first three batsmen set the tone for consistency. Shane Watson's return - bowling or not - will help in this regard, as he should team up well with the adventurous David Warner. With Ricky Ponting now preparing for a move to a retirement village rather than looking to increase his mortgage, it's time to find a long-term solution in the No. 3 spot. Usman Khawaja isn't the answer, as he's currently not quite capable of taking charge of an innings in the manner expected of a No. 3. Shaun Marsh could prove suitable but his injury history is a concern, and resorting to a back-to-the-future solution by reinstating Simon Katich isn't the answer either. Most of Australia's memorable moments of late have been provided by the younger brigade, and the selectors' gaze should be focused forward and not in the rearview mirror.

It's time for Michael Clarke to shoulder an extra responsibility and claim the No. 3 role. He has the experience, the Test record and the ability to take charge of an innings. He's also in form and has responded well to extra responsibility in his short captaincy career. This move would also enhance his reputation within the team for leading from the front. It would leave Australia with a vastly experienced top order, apart from the exciting Warner, and then a younger player could slot in between Ponting at four and Michael Hussey at six. Khawaja could fill that spot or else the allrounder Dan Christian could bat at six, behind Michael Hussey, if more bowling options are needed.

India's best chances for victory come when Sehwag and Zaheer fire together. Sehwag makes big scores quickly and Zaheer has the ability to claim five-wicket hauls - two major ingredients in winning Test matches.

Sehwag's confrontation with James Pattinson will not only be a highlight of the summer, it could well shape the series. Pattinson has one big advantage over most other opening bowlers who have been challenged by the belligerently brilliant Sehwag: he is led by a captain who isn't easily intimidated and won't cower behind a containment strategy.

Equally, if the Australian top order can blunt Zaheer, it will help them post challenging totals for the strong Indian line-up. One area where Australia does surpass India is in the injury toll, but it's a close-run thing. Zaheer is a constant candidate for the medical ward and Ishant Sharma has ongoing ankle problems. India will miss the swing bowling of the injured Praveen Kumar, but don't be surprised if Umesh Yadav thrives in the conditions. Yadav has some pace, but just as importantly, he has the potential to swing the ball and always looks like he's bowling to a plan.

The venues for the Indian Tests will slightly favour Australia. The SCG is the only ground where India might claim a spin advantage. The WACA should definitely suit Australia, while both the MCG and Adelaide Oval will encourage pace bowlers early.

If Australia can keep Sehwag under control and find the consistency in their batting order to neutralise Zaheer, they'll greatly increase their chances of defeating India. Of these two big ifs, the latter is the less likely, but then again Australia's batting is predictably unpredictable.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | December 21, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    it would be interesting if the 'real' Ricky Ponting returns. i wish him all the best and hope he will make the job tough for the indians.

  • POSTED BY on | December 21, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    @ ian-ghose - the only reason india lost that 2007 series was due to poor umpiring decision in the sydney test which resulted in india losing the series. at best, australia would have drawn the series. if you really are going to talk about 1999, australia hasnt done that great either in india. infact the record stands at 10-6 in favor of india in the test matches played in the last decade. we all know how well australia has done in india. you are right about india not winning in australia. check the series result after month and you sure wont be disappointed this time !

  • POSTED BY straightdrive4 on | December 20, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    i thing ian chappel needs to chill out

  • POSTED BY ian_ghose on | December 20, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @Haris Usmani...infact the last timeIndia played against the Aussie 'legends' in Australia (1999-00)- India got their backsides handed to them 3-0. Like I said...don't let media hype fool you.

  • POSTED BY ian_ghose on | December 20, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @Haris Usmani - I think you have your facts mixed up. I think you are confusing India with New Zealand. New Zealand is the only team which has challenged Australia in Australia even with Australia's gun players playing...as was the case in 2001-02, when they drew the series even with Warne, McGrath, Gillespie and Lee. India on the other hand, have done well...only when McGrath and Warne were missing like in 2003-04 and 2007-08 - infact India still lost the series in 2007-08 and could only draw in 2003-04. Don't let the Indian media's hype obscure the truth. And better believe it - India has NEVER won a test series in Australia.

  • POSTED BY daveintheuk on | December 20, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Why do we need a new No#3 ?? Marsh averages 70 at No#3! Our prob is we are trying to rebuild a team whilst carrying too many players who: are totally out of form, have flawed techniques, are past it or unproven at test level. It is doomed! Playing Hughes means we are 1 down b4 we bat, that adds pressure to newby Khawaja. Out of form Punter,Huss,Hadds,Usman means we lose wickets quickly in batches of 3 or 4. Our Best XI needs proper opening pair, 1 dasher/1 accumulator & a No#3 who can do both, Thats Warner/Cowans opening (or poss convert Khawaja?), Marsh owns No#3, they build solid foundation for middle order of #4 Watto, #5 Clarke, two strokemakers followed by solid #6 Huss/Khawaja who can stop any disaster or consolidate good scoreline, #7 Haddin, just! this top order leaves him to play his natural game. The Top7 MUST consistently score 350+ on their own! Too often we hav relied on late runs fm th tail to post "competitive" sub350 total.We need to consistently post 400+

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | December 20, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    "The advantage that Pattinson have is that he is led by Michael Clarke"!!! What a joke!!! Ian Chappell really had to dig soo deep to come up with that one!!! I mean, gone are the days when Australians would say, "The Captain's life is made so easy because he got Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Ponting and so on that they just have to show up to win test matches". Now the Australians are trying their best to come up some and any sort of encouragement out of somewhere. I am very impressed with that Pattinson Kid from what I saw him bowling against NewZealand. Instead of giving him credit for some of the deliveries the kid bowled, Chappell has listed his Captain as his plus point. The title of this article should have an extension saying "Only for Australians to read and feel happy about". As for the Indian Batsmen "reeling" at the sight of green wickets, I remember how no Australians were not talking after the start of the CHIN MUSIC series in 2003. Good try Chappell, but keep trying...

  • POSTED BY Kaze on | December 20, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Aus 4 Ind 0 doesn't matter who bats where

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 20, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Chapelli with another brilliant article. Clarke 3 and tendulkar the dead rubber specialist to retire, brilliant commentary Ian!

  • POSTED BY SaravananIsTheBest on | December 20, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @jay57870 , Ohh boy... you came down in the batting orde, hit a hat-trick... Spot on mate !!!

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | December 21, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    it would be interesting if the 'real' Ricky Ponting returns. i wish him all the best and hope he will make the job tough for the indians.

  • POSTED BY on | December 21, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    @ ian-ghose - the only reason india lost that 2007 series was due to poor umpiring decision in the sydney test which resulted in india losing the series. at best, australia would have drawn the series. if you really are going to talk about 1999, australia hasnt done that great either in india. infact the record stands at 10-6 in favor of india in the test matches played in the last decade. we all know how well australia has done in india. you are right about india not winning in australia. check the series result after month and you sure wont be disappointed this time !

  • POSTED BY straightdrive4 on | December 20, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    i thing ian chappel needs to chill out

  • POSTED BY ian_ghose on | December 20, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @Haris Usmani...infact the last timeIndia played against the Aussie 'legends' in Australia (1999-00)- India got their backsides handed to them 3-0. Like I said...don't let media hype fool you.

  • POSTED BY ian_ghose on | December 20, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @Haris Usmani - I think you have your facts mixed up. I think you are confusing India with New Zealand. New Zealand is the only team which has challenged Australia in Australia even with Australia's gun players playing...as was the case in 2001-02, when they drew the series even with Warne, McGrath, Gillespie and Lee. India on the other hand, have done well...only when McGrath and Warne were missing like in 2003-04 and 2007-08 - infact India still lost the series in 2007-08 and could only draw in 2003-04. Don't let the Indian media's hype obscure the truth. And better believe it - India has NEVER won a test series in Australia.

  • POSTED BY daveintheuk on | December 20, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Why do we need a new No#3 ?? Marsh averages 70 at No#3! Our prob is we are trying to rebuild a team whilst carrying too many players who: are totally out of form, have flawed techniques, are past it or unproven at test level. It is doomed! Playing Hughes means we are 1 down b4 we bat, that adds pressure to newby Khawaja. Out of form Punter,Huss,Hadds,Usman means we lose wickets quickly in batches of 3 or 4. Our Best XI needs proper opening pair, 1 dasher/1 accumulator & a No#3 who can do both, Thats Warner/Cowans opening (or poss convert Khawaja?), Marsh owns No#3, they build solid foundation for middle order of #4 Watto, #5 Clarke, two strokemakers followed by solid #6 Huss/Khawaja who can stop any disaster or consolidate good scoreline, #7 Haddin, just! this top order leaves him to play his natural game. The Top7 MUST consistently score 350+ on their own! Too often we hav relied on late runs fm th tail to post "competitive" sub350 total.We need to consistently post 400+

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | December 20, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    "The advantage that Pattinson have is that he is led by Michael Clarke"!!! What a joke!!! Ian Chappell really had to dig soo deep to come up with that one!!! I mean, gone are the days when Australians would say, "The Captain's life is made so easy because he got Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Ponting and so on that they just have to show up to win test matches". Now the Australians are trying their best to come up some and any sort of encouragement out of somewhere. I am very impressed with that Pattinson Kid from what I saw him bowling against NewZealand. Instead of giving him credit for some of the deliveries the kid bowled, Chappell has listed his Captain as his plus point. The title of this article should have an extension saying "Only for Australians to read and feel happy about". As for the Indian Batsmen "reeling" at the sight of green wickets, I remember how no Australians were not talking after the start of the CHIN MUSIC series in 2003. Good try Chappell, but keep trying...

  • POSTED BY Kaze on | December 20, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Aus 4 Ind 0 doesn't matter who bats where

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 20, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Chapelli with another brilliant article. Clarke 3 and tendulkar the dead rubber specialist to retire, brilliant commentary Ian!

  • POSTED BY SaravananIsTheBest on | December 20, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @jay57870 , Ohh boy... you came down in the batting orde, hit a hat-trick... Spot on mate !!!

  • POSTED BY Abhayaprada on | December 20, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    @jay57870 "I was actually selected for Australia at baseball before I was picked in the Test side." History will teach you something. Allan Border was a great lover of baseball and played for many seasons well into his test career. You see baseball was then played as a winter game allowing cricketers to have an off season game to keep reflexes sharp without having to travel to england. AB said that it helped his general fielding abilities as well as sharpening his batting accuracy as the baseball bat was so much harder to get consistency with it.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    this sounds cool advise..... clarke has to hold the reins if the team has to come up again.....besides that with his style of play he is most suited to the no. 3 slot...

  • POSTED BY nkjakajack on | December 20, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Its amazing how Ian always manages to make it all about Sehwag and ignores the great trio. Look at the history of India's performances overseas for 10 years and its always been Dravid, Sachin or Laxman who have won the games along with the bowlers. Sehwag is an amazing player but the series is surely not just about the him vs Parrinson. Its about whether the trio will replicate the feats of their last few tours to Australia and amass bug totals for Indian bowlers to take advantage of the brittle Australian batting. Sehwag's bursts will definitely help.

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | December 20, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    (Cont) We all know of Ian's obsession with playing the Age-card. Here he calls for selectors to be "focused forward and not in the rear-view mirror." Mirrors again! Mirror, mirror on the wall! Ask Rahul, the game's oldest player (almost 39). In his speech, he warns that "given how he's (Sachin, 38) been playing these days, there are no guarantees about final goodbyes." Holds for Rahul too. If Clarke needs to worry about anything, it's captaincy - not batting order. Ask Dhoni - whom Ian regards as among the "great modern captains" - for taking his team to the top "without a great bowling attack." For once I agree with Ian. "Captain Cool" is a force to reckon with. He has full faith in his stable of veterans. He doesn't mess around much with the batting order. Even Greg Chappell regretted that he "shoud've handled Sachin better" when he as coach tried to change his batting order in the 2007 WC. Will Ian learn from Greg's big mistake? Or his own? Smoke & mirrors! Ian's expiry-date is up!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | December 20, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    (Cont) Ian once claimed: "I was actually selected for Australia at baseball before I was picked in the Test side." No wonder he likes slogging & the "highly combustible" Sehwag. But cricket's a 5-day game, not 3 hours: It's about batting in pairs & building partnerships, not home runs. Ask Dravid & Tendulkar. Or Ponting & Hussey. They know it well. Even in baseball, strange as it is, it's common practice for contending MLB clubs to "mortgage" the future to compete for titles & championships now. Yes, NOW! They're willing to give up young promising prospects for older experienced players in trades or free agency. Last week Albert Pujols - the heralded superstar of the 2011 World Champs St. Louis Cardinals - signed a 10-year deal with the LA Angels for a whopping $254 million. He'll be 41 in the final year. Similar stories: Derek Jeter (37) & Alex Rodriquez (36) with the NY Yankees. They'll play into their 40s. So, why push out Katich (36) and now Ponting (37) & Hussey (36)? Why? (TBC)

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | December 20, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    Ian - It's a bizarre, half-baked column: The title does not match the narrative. No. 3 position? That's the great Bradman. That's Dravid - The Wall. Not Sehwag, he's an opener. LOL! Ian's got it mixed up. At a minimum, Chappell should enlighten himself with Dravid's Bradman Oration - which he delivered to a standing ovation last week at the Australian War Memorial. He'll learn a whole lot of what cricket's all about, what it takes to build a Team. Not Soloists. The great Don knew it all. Or just check with Rahul. So what makes Ian think that Sehwag (& Zaheer) is the lone saviour(s) for India? Smacks of selective bias and some weird revenge fantasy here: No mention of Sachin (conspicuously obvious), Rahul, VVS, Gambhir, Dhoni & Co! Or maybe it's memory loss or dementia? Just in his last column, Ian boldly declared: "There are runs in Ricky still" and now he's got Ponting packing off to the "retirement village rather than looking to increase his mortgage"? Ian the Flip-Flopper! (TBC)

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 20, 2011, 2:50 GMT

    Clarke at 3 might not be a good option.. Usually Aussies ahve a couple of batsmen to play with tail and Clarke and Hussey are the best in it in the current team.. They can be better at 5 n 6.. Plus, it will allow Khawaja to play in his usual no.3.. Which is good for him.. If they need a change, it will be to move Watto to middle order and bring back Katich for Khawaja.. Katich, Warner, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon and the third fast bowler..

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    Looks like Ian Chappell has had a memory lapse, does he remember the Perth test of the last series between these 2 countries? Yes India didn't do very well in England but they have had the better of Australia even in Australia just recently. No need to talk about the Sydney test but we all know had it not been for that test last test series result would have been different. It'll take a braveman to predict who will win the series this time around.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    Ian Chappel Looks like the most confused Australian. This was his article on 4-Dec-2011 saying there are still runs in Ricky Ponting :- http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/543588.html ... And now he's asking for Ponting's head. Also he has misconception that India's entire challenge is built on Sehwag and Zaheer Khan ... Even a person in his dreams can't be this much illogical..The point is he's overlooking players with proven ability and track record in Australian conditions. Also after just one series against a mediocre and fragile batting line up like New Zealand, he hails James Pattinson as if he's McGrath or Warne.. This would be more of application and ability to counter swing and lateral movement and Clark has been proven nervous starter against both.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 19, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    Why not hussey play number 3? He is more dravid mould. Michael clarke will fail in number 3. Because it is most pressure spot. Wicket falls , you have to play good in a bad situation. You come in bad situation all the time. I think watson may do better than Michael clarke in number 3. Watson should bowl though. They need atleast one all rounder to balance the team.

  • POSTED BY SaravananIsTheBest on | December 19, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Sensible Article. But on 'containment strategy', Im really looking for Clarkee's actions on the field. Bitter truth is Clarkee [as a captain] hasnt faced a fearless opener like Sehwag yet, so forget about his new bowlers on this case. We got to wait & watch on this..

  • POSTED BY T-800 on | December 19, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    @jameswayne I guess we will have to agree to disagree for now on Clarke. Only time will tell which one of us is right. I agree with you though, that the transition within The Australian team was badly managed. Hayden and Langer both openers retired without Cricket Australia finding suitable replacements. The middle order too went weak after the retirement of Damien Martyn, Gilchrist etc. They seem to be the polar opposite of the Indian team which seems like they will only let Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman go only in their 40s. I hope suitable replacements are found by then

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Uh-oh! You should have researched well before posting that Mr.Chappell. India is No.2 in ICC Test rankings. As for your write-up,no comments because you are as usual hell bent on retiring batsmen in their 30s like Tendulkar and Ponting.Cricinfo publish.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Clarke is the last person in the Aussie lineup to be put in at no 3. Clarke is an old ball bully. He has absolutely no idea how to play bowling with lateral movement. No. 3 in test match is where you put in your most technically sound batsman. Clarke is not it. Sorry! Assuming full recovery from injury - Warner opens with Watson with Marsh at 3, Ponting 4, Clarke at 5 and Hussey at 6.

  • POSTED BY milan014 on | December 19, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    I am not agree with this kind of format that ponting is out from the team. he slowly capture his form soo he can show his full strategy in match .

  • POSTED BY drjaygoyal on | December 19, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Dear Mr Chappel....lovely article...would be an evenly fought series...just a reminder that India is 2nd on the ICC rankings and NOT 3rd like u mentioned...

  • POSTED BY shayad on | December 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    1.DA Warner 2.SE Marsh / S Katich 3.SR Watson 4.RT Ponting 5.MJ Clarke 6.MEK Hussey 7.BJ Haddin 8.MG Johnson 9.JL Pattinson 10.NM Lyon 11.PM Siddle

  • POSTED BY mustufa on | December 19, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    One of my all time Fav commentators is finally giving in to patriotism. Clarke at no 3? Are you kidding me. He can hardly survive with on the up driving at no 5, at no 3 he will have nightmares worse then what Ponting has faced. The only way to make runs on tough tracks is by letting go of your ego, and grind it out, make a hundred of 250 balls. Suddenly Khawaja is not the fav, In the first test Ponting sold him out when he was on 30 odd, the second test saw everyone fail other then Warner. No need for Clarke there. Khawaja and Marsh. Clarke has to bat at 5 and guide every player, and tough it out. Sure Indian batsman might be reeling looking at the green surfaces, but it does not sound good coming from a team that has scores of 80, 125, 135 and 90 in the last 2 years in the first innings. Live in reality please.

  • POSTED BY Satmat1 on | December 19, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    I fear the biggest blow for India is the loss of Praveen Kumar, his quality swing bowling & stout heart would have been ideally suited to expose Australia batting's all too obvious weakness against such bowling. If Zaheer or Ishant break down (more likely than not), India's bowling will be woefully exposed again just as it was in England. Also, this is a big tour for MS Dhoni, he has to put the nightmare of the England tour behind him. Another poor overseas tour & the vultures will be gathering.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    i dont agree i think his golden form has started at no 5 but i say mike hussey bad form has also started at no 6 so thats a bit of a concern for aus so maybe push him to no 4 but then where ponting bats so maybe push watson down all surely can khawaja and marsh cant bat at 6 ian chappel is taking us(india ) too lightly i am sure he will be in total shock on 28 january and his brother is just helping india too put him shock ian chappel says perth will surely favour australia does he remember 2008

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 19, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    The continuous inclusion of Mitchell Johnson in the team even after inconsistent performances since the Ashes 2009, the promotion of stop gap players like Watson and Katich to open the innings, removing Hauritz after one bad series vs India and picking ordinary spinners in the side are few examples that hurt Australia in the last 2 years.All the above misdeeds by Ponting have been instrumental in Australia becoming an average side and now it is all upto Clarke to pick up the pieces and build a good and great Aussie side.As I had said before, it is the bowlers who wins you matches and the alarming rate of injuries to most of the Aussie bowlers since the last 2 years is another mystery that Ponting or the Aussie Board have failed to address.Why are the bowlers getting injured time and again? What is their fitness regime, diet and so on?Clarke can do only what he has at his disposal.Today he is without his top 2 bowlers Harris and Cummins which was like Ponting without McGrath and Lee.

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 19, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    What do you mean by 'Inner calm'? The batting collapses have been occurring since a long time, maybe from around 2009.What did Ponting do about it? Atleast now they are trying to do something like organizing camps for batsmen to counter swing bowling.There will always be 2 sides to a coin.If one is to criticize, then the other can be to praise.See, every captain cannot be the same.You would not have predicted after seeing Allan Border in his first 3 years that he would go on to become one of the best captains of all time.Regarding Ponting, I am of the opinion that the team made him great rather than the other way round. Or else he should have been successful even today and not kicked out as captain.The real test for Ponting was, how would he captain the side after Mcgrath and Warne retired and he failed miserably.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | December 19, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I disagree, Shaun Marsh has done well batting at #3 though I suspect he would make a better opener than Hughes, If anything I feel Clarke will struggle at 3, he was effectively batting at #3 for most of the last Ashes and he didnt succeed. Thats why I feel Khawaja is the answer, he looked ok at Sydney in his debut, and needs time to grow into the role, he hasnt been helped by Hughes continued failures which expose him to quality opening bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | December 19, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Chappelli, please allow me to disagree with an article you wrote recently on Phil Hughes. You write 'in 2009 he had the choice of tweaking his faults or changing his technique'. I doubt the 20 year old had any option. He was dropped by the then selectors and told to change these aspects of his technique. You are right he's now second guessing his instincts, but it's not his fault. It's another stuff up to add to Hilditch's long list.

  • POSTED BY ToneMalone on | December 19, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Listening to Chappelli over the years, you could be forgiven for thinking it was mandatory for a good captain to bat at no.3. Each unto their own ... Clarke seems a natural no.5 and is Australia's best player of spin.Between Watson, Warner, Marsh, Cowan & Khawaja there are enough options to forge a stable top three. And given the option, I'm sure they'd take facing the new ball over being in the dreaded probationary no.6 position. Leading doesn't always mean batting up the order ... a certain S Waugh showed that.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | December 19, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Once again I agree with much of what you write Chappelli. Clarke should bat at 3, he seems to be thriving on extra responsibility. I also think right now Watson should open, but over the next 12-18 months, once Warner is settled, he should move down to 4 so he can bowl a bit more. Just using Watson as a partnership breaker is useful, but he can't do it whilst opening.

  • POSTED BY T-800 on | December 19, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    @jameswayne, Meety and others. Firstly, I NEVER said Clarke should be replaced as captain. Clarke will be the captain of Australia for the next 3-4 years because there is NO ALTERNATIVE. Secondly, out of all the team members, a captain bears the highest(not exclusive) responsibility for a teams performance. These batting collapses have been occurring for a few tests now. Why hasn't something been done to fix it? Lastly, while my assessment of Clarke as a captain might seem premature, I base it on more than 25 years of observing cricket and its captains. Captaincy is not just about being aggressive or attacking. A good captain is the result of several attributes. IMHO, the Clarke we have seen so far aint a good captain.

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | December 19, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    I hope Clarke goes to No 3. He is the best batsman in the team and has shown already that he is a far more imaginative captain than the black and white Ponting ever was. As for Pattinson his time is to come. After the Indian series we'll know if he's another trundler or is a class bowler. He can bowl great balls but so far the wickets and the batters have been a swing bowlers dream. Now he's against real class and if he doesn't swing it, we'll see what's in store. I think Oz needs to sack the batting coach and the position. I couldn't imagine worse as a batter than the incumbent coach (Langer). Batters help each other out and it's basic stuff. Langers term has been the worst of all history. That will be his legacy. He was a good test batsman. Not great ever.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Wow! Chappel thinks that India is made out of Sehwag and Zaheer and if possible Ishant! Wonder what he thinks of Sachin, Rahul, VVS, MS, Ashwin. Any pitch, if the match goes till 4th and 5th day, spinners will be effective. The prob with past Aussie captains is, they will always support the captain when their team is not doing well. Just because Clarke scored couple of hundreds, he isn't any better the Ricky or Hussey...

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | December 19, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    India Winning = Sehwag + Zak performing Aus Winning = ROI Failling + Ponting and Hussey batting

  • POSTED BY Dale-force_winds_steyn_the_pitch on | December 19, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    From what I know about Clarke, he is definitely not a no3. I would sit him at 5, it's where I feel he is best suited.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | December 19, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    What Chappell doesn't talk about is how our young new baggy greens have been pulling their weight above the established oldies... Warner, Marsh showing toughness & runs at the top... Bowling Pattinson, Lyon & Cummins outstanding... What has let down Oz has been our batting with abysmal collapses regularly & only being saved from total humiliation by batting from our tail-enders... It is way beyond time that our middle-order started performing... The new younger players are proving that change is beneficial to team performance & they are not the ones dragging the team down...

  • POSTED BY ali00 on | December 19, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    i agree with Ian Chappell that Michael clarke should move to no.3 batting line

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | December 19, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    @Cameron Skirving... There are many players that could instantly replace Ponting/Hussey... Cowan(av: 54 SS "this season" = TS) in very good form (Hussey was an opener in SS)... Klinger(48.9 SS-TS) getting tons & high scores... Voges(58.6 SS-TS) always making runs & is a handy spin bowler - average 34 @ FC bowling... Cooper(47 SS-TS) showed class against India as did Robinson(64.5 SS-TS)... with Neville(67.4 SS-TS), Christian (59.3 SS-TS), Forrest (58 SS-TS) standouts... & if you need to replace Haddin then Wade(63.2 SS-TS) is in great form...

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 19, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @T-800 - LOL! Mate, whether you like him or not, Clarke has done an outstanding job as captain, he'd of had a perfect record, (post Ashes), if it weren't for batting collapses. ATM - Clarke is probably the most attacking captain in Test cricket. @ popcorn - tend to agree, IC, has long held the belief that the best batsmen holds the #3 spot in the order. Clarke is our best batsmen since the Ashes, but he is a middle order batsmen. @Raghuruman Rajanarayanan -".. James Pattinson is far far better than Pat Cummins..", that's your opinion, but a fully fit Cummins is very comparable to Pattinson in abilities - Sth Africans think so, a Pattinson/Cummins opening combination would have the Indian batting legends in the nets with the bowling machine cranked to maximum in preparation as it would be a fearsome proposition.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    this shud be the 11 for aussies during the boxing day warner watson ponting clarke hussey khwaja haddin siddle bollinger pattinson lyon

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    Awsome Mr.Chappel!!there is one mr.tendulkar,mr.dravid and a vvs in Indian team who aren't in Aus for a walk around the park.I heard u say WACA favouring AUS.You are a legend,you can't have such huge memory loss about IDS last tour.And,if Ishant plays to 80% fitness,beware.He was the bowler who troubled your legend Punter at prime.The 80% would be far from enough to do away with rest.ARROGANCE!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    James Pattinson is far far better than Pat Cummins, whom Chappell praised sometime ago. I am glad that Pat Cummins is not playing because Sehwag would have really thrown him to the cleaners and more importantly gain some vital form. Pattinson looks far more consistent with his line (than length) and this is key for keeping Sehwag under control. I expect Australia to have no problems whatsoever with Indian bowling. If Clarke plays as well as he used to, Australia are less likely to depend on Ponting.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    I agree with Ian, Zaheer's fitness is key to India's success and the way it looks India will not be able to get those 20 wickets without him unless Umesh emerges as a surprise package. I do not see any batting concerns for India. If Segway and gambler can give good starts India will be able to put big scores.

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 19, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    It is ridiculous for most to even think that Clarke is a poor captain and he should step down. Come on, he has just taken over from Ponting only a few months back and he has done a much better job in the 5 months in charge than what Ponting did in the last 2 years.Australia had not won anything of note in most part of the last 2 years and Clarke has started off as well as anyone can.And what do all expect Clarke to do?He has scored 3 centuries in his last 7 innings but he cannot bat and bowl for all the other players.He is the best we have and should be given a long run without doubt.Allan Border was a total flop in his first 3 years and went on to become the best captains of all time and Clarke is supposed to win everything on sight in his first 5 months. It is totally unfair on him. And Clarke has atleast not lost a series yet.And the unending injuries to his star bowlers like Harris, Cummins, Johnson, Cutting has not helped either and it is the bowlers who wins you the matches.

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | December 19, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    The series depends upon Australian batting and nothing else. If they perform they will win the series and if they bowl out at 47 than they know the outcome.

  • POSTED BY JAH123 on | December 19, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    @T-800 - 100% disagree with you on that one, and I think most Aussie cricket fans probably would too. Whatever people have said about Michael Clarke, as a leader he has been really positive, backing-up his bowlers with aggressive field settings and showing a knack for making bowling changes at just the right times. Leadership also seems to suit his batting (aside from a thoughtless shot in the second inninvs vs NZ). As much as I love Ponting, I think he was too defensive and predictable with his tactics on the field, whereas Clarke's attitude has breathed a bit of life into the side. Consistency will come as long as he keeps doing the right things.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    Looks like Mr.Chappell, has forgot to most successful run getters and match winners for India. Sachin and V.V.S just the records speak for all. Sure, Sehwag is the destructive force that we all know and want to fire, but its Sachin & Laxman who got all the wins against Aus. It will be interesting series and India's best chance for Winning a series down under.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    Chappell makes some valid points, but too many times I think they are short-sighted. The point on Zaheer is more than valid, as he is, in my opinion, the only proven world class bowler in the whole Indian line-up and good at swinging both the new and old ball. As for Sehwag, well, yes he is probably the X-factor in the batting line up, but if you look at the history between these teams over the last decade, Dravid, SRT and Laxman's performances consistently stack up better. And as for the grounds, I don't agree with Chappell - Dravid, Laxman and SRT have all scored plenty of runs at these venues, and Adelaide and Sydney are both spinner friendly tracks, which should favour India since they have more capable spin stocks. Even series for me, and definately one that relies on more than just neutralising Sehwag and Zaheer!

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | December 19, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Chappell is right about Australia needing someone at no. 3. The no. 3 batsman has always played a pivotal role in any successful team. Whenever India did well was when they had a good no.3 with the likes of Amarnath and Vengsarkar in the 80's and one of the finest no. 3's the world has produced, Dravid. It is not easy to make the adjustment, because you could be playing as early as the second ball of the innings, but someone has to step up for Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    @Haris Usmani If you look at all the series that Australia have played in the last 10 years against England and India I would say the 2005 ashes series that England won was the best series. You mention the big 5 we have had a lot of good players in the past ten years and i can only presume who you refer to in the big 5 as Warne, Mcgrath, Gilchrist and Hayden? If this is the big 5 they all played in that series

  • POSTED BY gzawilliam on | December 19, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Ian I gather you have forgotten the recent series where he flashed outside offstump with that cocked over bent front leg technique he has and gave slips practice do you?

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 19, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    I do not agree with Ian Chappell's opinion. Have we not seen that the experiment to move Michael Clarke to No.4 in the batting order has failed? That when he was moved back to his favourite position Number 5 in the batting order, he comfortably started scoring centuries?

    Steve Waugh and Allan Border, both captains, fkourished at No.5, and brought Stability to the Team. Michael Clarke is the same mould.

    We have Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh to fill the Number 3 slot.

    Stop TINKERING with the Batting order.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 19, 2011, 0:40 GMT

    I think Chappell makes a valid point when he says "...The sight of greenish pitches will have the Indian batsmen reeling, and consequently the Australian pace bowlers will have a psychological advantage. However, this shouldn't be taken for granted..." It should not be taken for granted, as YES, Indians don't like bounce, seam & pace, BUT, the current batting line up include all time greats who can adjust their games. I would consider a fly slip & 3rd man against Sehwag simultaneously as it would be both a run-saving & catching positions for him, (although it might make him play straight!). I think Gambhir, Kohli & Raina will have torrid times - I also think Dhoni will be hit & miss, but India can still do well on the backs of SRT, Dravid & Sehwag & of course - VVS! Laxman (from an Ozzy point of view), is more of a thorn than Dravid or SRT. He is a bloke that seems to only deliver on his ability when playing against Oz. I wouldn't be taking him lightly!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 19, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Can't wait for this series! I have no idea what sort of a pitch will be dished up at the MCG. I think this test will be pivotal for many reasons (apart from being the first test). I think Oz will play Watto (& he won't bowl), I don't think they'll play Christian. That means 4 specialists up against the most decorated (& capped) top 6 batting line up in Test history. If, Pattinson (& probably Siddle & Harris), get on top of the Indians AND Oz's fragility in the batting line up is sealed, then I would say that Oz have the series wrapped with wins at the WACA & SCG (weather permitting), I think India is most likely to win at Adelaide (unless they give up like in England). Yadav will be crucial as India will need 3 pacers & Irfan won't be here as an allrounder. I think the SCG will be juicy & there has been a big push (post loss to India), to get the WACA back to where it used be FAST AND BOUNCY, it had slow bounce last time India was there.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    @ anthony - from australian point of view yes. but if you look at the history between australia - india encounters in the last decade, you have to agree to the fact that india is the only team that has given australia a fight even when they had their legends. england only defeated australia when they were without the big 5.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | December 19, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    I gather the India-Aus series is very important to Indian fans - particularly in the last 10 years - but no-one should believe this nonsense about it being a bigger rivalry than the Ashes! They've certainly played some intriguing and intense cricket in recent years and the Indian fans love seeing their team get one over the Aussies, but ask any random Aussie or English cricket fan whether The Ashes or the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is more important, you'll get the same answer every time. Having said that, this is shaping up to be a good series. From what I can see, there's two prime factors that will affect the outcome of this series: how the Indian batting line-up negotiate these young Aussie quicks eager to get at them in home conditions; and how long Zaheer lasts before breaking down. The other factor of course, is pitch condition - a few green-tops will make it a very interesting contest indeed.

  • POSTED BY T-800 on | December 18, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    Michael Clarke is still a young captain of course but from what I have seen of him so far, he is not an impressive captain. He does not have the kind of talent in the team to work with like a Ponting or a Waugh did but from everything I have seen of him so far, he seems incomplete. He appears to lack an inner calm. My prediction for not just this series but the near future(3-4 years) is that Australian Cricket will continue to limp along (because there is no alternative to Clarke as captain in sight.) until they find a real leader OR if Clarke the man himself changes into a leader. As far as this series goes, what will happen is uncertain mainly because no one knows how the current Indian bowling attack will perform under these conditions. At any rate, this series is poor indicator of what the future holds for Team Australia because they are up against an opponent that is traditionally weaker in away conditions

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    I am soo surprised that Ed Cowan has not got even a mention. OK, if Watson is fit then he won't play. But as a batsman in form, Cowan is way ahead of the rest. No one else is really putting their hands up at the moment. Ok, Ricky isn't batting well, or Hussey but no one is knocking on the door, so how can we risk replace them with players whose form we are not certain with? Until batsmen are scoring heavily at domestic level , and I am talking all positions here, Ponting and Hussey stay, simple as that.

  • POSTED BY righthandbat on | December 18, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Clarke might possibly be able to play well in the number 3 position. However, his game is suited perfectly to number 5, and considering this I would not move him. Dropping Ponting and Hussey would help, because then you could send Watson down to 4 where he will still have time against pace, give Chris Rogers another crack at opening and reinstate Katich at 3. Khawaja can be given time to get a handle on things at 6 (whilst working on things like fielding).

    Watson should not play until after the India series, when he is ready to have a longer work load. Until then, Ponting should have his final series and should retire at the end of it.

    Boxing day team: Warner, Rogers, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Lyon (elevated after that good batting performance), Pattinson, Copeland.

    Harris needs a bit more recovery time before he is risked. Copeland deserves another game. Marsh needs to prove his fitness and have another good season in the Shield.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    @Haris Usmani Mate this is a big series but it is not bigger then the Ashes. The Ashes is the pinnacle of cricket for Australian & England and i'm positive 99% of people in Australia would agree with me.

  • POSTED BY avis1001 on | December 18, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Although I am respectful to Mr.Ian, but always his predictions are going wrong!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    @ jamil jabbar - overrated series? india- australia rivalry is bigger than any other series. it even betters ashes which is surely overrated. talking about pakistan- england series, it will be in favor of englishman 2-0 as i cant see pakistan winning any test match with their batting. however, pakistan might win the odi series 3-2 due to englands poor odi record.

  • POSTED BY PeteB on | December 18, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    let's not kid ourselves that Dan Christian is an all rounder, his bowling won't worry the Indians

  • POSTED BY OZrocks_forca_barca on | December 18, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    sure aussie gonna rock the indians on their feet...warner with his blazing and thoughtful start while pattinson with his swing and seam.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    Australia vs india another over rated series? i think england vs pakistan is going bigger and better than this two teams.australia still searching for there right commbination and india you all know what happen to them in england in a seaming condition.

  • POSTED BY promal on | December 18, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    India, as of now, is ranked No. 2, Mr. Chappell, not No. 3 as you seem to suggest......

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    I agree 100% with article. No one can deny sachin,dravid,vvs score in tough pitches and put up a respectable score. We all saw what happened in england. Same will happen. Things tend to repeat. Same players. Same pressure conditions. Sachin may score century when game is going for a draw. Only sehwag and zaheer contribution will change the game india's favor. Sehwag is the one won the game in perth last time. And drawn it in adelaide with his patient 150. Key is , is he motivated? I think so. My prediction is it will be even series and back and forth. India can win if they can manage fast bowlers well.

  • POSTED BY amlyaa on | December 18, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    lets debate issues logically & not just passionately!! criticising and praising sehwag to the extreme ends seems to be the norm.........sehwag is definitely a suspect against swing bowling. but he is not simply a flat track bully as it is made out to be.in AUSTRALIA he has played 7 test matches and has scored 1125 runs at an average of 59.50 .here is the link for guys who wont believe it.http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35263.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting. one of the reasons he has not performed well in SA & NZ apart from his poor technique is his approach to hit the ball from the word go. in trying to do so he has lost his wicket quiet regularly . at the same time sehwg average's 54.36 IN NEW ZEALAND with 3 centuries & 2 half centuries. he also scored a century on debut at Bloemfontein in SA.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    people are considering this series as cakewalk for India but its not going to be that way. Batting looks great but we were not able to score 300 in england in any test innings, if that happens here as well then young bowlers won't be able to help much. Its 70-30

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    i think ian thinks that cricket is a one man show ...let me tell Mr.chappell the truth ..... if sehwag fails we have gambhir,if gambhir fails we have dravid,if dravid fails we have sachin ...if sachin fails we have laxman ...if laxman fails we have our skipper ....if msd fails we have able young batters ( miles better than khwaja and hughes and warner) in form of ajinkya virat and rohit .....in bowling department even if ishant is unfit ....yadav can always step up and crank up his pace ....and mr.chappel u r underestimating ashwin ....way way better than lyon ...so instead of (over) analysing this indian team ...look at ur own team and their problems ....reality check will dawn upon u on 26th december .....

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    I think Ponting can play up to 2013 Ashes if the media gets off his back. He will get runs, I do agree that Clarke should bat at 3. He is a class player and has the right temperament required at No3. Marsh's injury problems are a concern so until he is fit,Watson should open with Warner, 3. Clarke 4. Ponting 5. Khwaja and 6.Hussey. Hussey and Ponting's form against India will determine which of them can play for next 2 years.

  • POSTED BY theswami on | December 18, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Watson, Warner,Ponting,Clarke,Hussey,Marsh,Haddin,Lyon,Pattinson,Cummins, Bollinger. Hughes (12th), Khwaja,Copeland. Perfect Aussie side

  • POSTED BY vinvashisht on | December 18, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Ponting should now drop down to no 6 and make way for the younguns. It's about time Oz bounced back. Ponting at 5 or 6 will be awesome to work with the tail.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    Another of those mind games from the person who said sachin should quit cricket ..around 5 years back..

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    sold of aussie players are playin in big bash rather than practicing for such a crucial test series... this shd send a msg to selectors... why is ponting, hussey playin in t-20 and gettin out cheaply than taking part in their batsmen camp?? do they rather want to play t-20 than play test cricket.. they are doin the same mistake India did before england..

  • POSTED BY GreenTeam-Elite on | December 18, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Well as a Cricket Lover after Pakistan, Australia is my Favorite team. Ponting, Clarke, Warner, Hussey, Lee, Johnson all are my Favorite Players. Now Young Pattinson is a key for Australia. Best Wishes for Australia Against India.

  • POSTED BY akpy on | December 18, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    hhillbumper - you are so full of class, are you? joker !!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | December 18, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Nobody's mentioned wicket-keepers. Haddin is struggling in Tests of late, especially with the bat; Dhoni is inconsistent, and in an important series like this where it's important to protect the tail and make runs in the lower-middle order, this is an important series for both men. If the tracks are going to be swing- and seam-friendly, and with so many new young and raw bowlers, there is absolutley no room for sloppy glovework either. Haddin/Dhoni: best of luck!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Ponting moving up or down will not help. If he clicks he will do so @ 3 and there is no need to make him feel edgy. If he is on the wane he will fade away. If there is a second wind, then he will bounce back like a tiger. There is nobody in the team who is half as good as punter. He has played two fine innings recently and who knows what is in store and I only hope that this great cricketer will come back to his peak after our series and we should not be at the receiving end of his fine and long innings.

  • POSTED BY Himad on | December 18, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Another sorry article from Ian. All he talks is about the possibilities. Like if India refuse to bowl well pattinson will score a tripple hundred and if Indians throw away their wickets then any Australian bowler can get them out. Wishful thinking with personal agendas at its best. This piece is devoid of expert analysis like any of his articles over the past few years. I am from Pakistan and I feel sachin, laxman and dravid will be the key and not sehwag. Zaheer if fit will be handful and the yadav, we have to see what he is capable of doing. Hussey holds the key for Aussies and not Clark who is an average batsman. I am liking Aussies new fast bowling brigade though. Let's see what happens. Fingers crossed.

  • POSTED BY playitstraight on | December 18, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Clarke should stay where he is. He has played some great knocks (150 v SA, 137 v NZ) and he is the ideal batsman suited to that spot. Ricky Ponting should be replaced by Shaun Marsh. Watto and Warner should open. So Aus XI should be this: Watson, Warner, Marsh, Khawaja, Clarke (c), Hussey, Haddin (wk), Pattinson, Lyon, Johnson/Harris (if fit), Siddle/Cummins (if fit).

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 18, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Clarke to come at No.3 but if Watson cannot bowl then he has no place in the Aussie side as there are much better batsmen who can open for Australia. Genuine openers have great temperament and score big hundreds or even double hundreds which cannot be expected of Watson. Ponting is equally responsible for the opener's mess because he was the one who promoted Watson as opener.And he has become so bulky (surely due to the late IPL parties) that he does not want to bowl much anymore and his fielding in the slips is as pitiable that I have seen from Australia dropping dollies galore. It is plain selfish on Watson's part that he just wants to be in the side as an opener by hook or crook. Australia are again making the same mistake with Watson that they did with Mitchell Johnson who was a passenger in the team since Ashes 2009 even though he had been in horrible form. And I suppose this Australian team just cannot afford even a single passenger from now on as their golden days are long gone.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Ideal XI:

    Warner, Watson, Shaun Marsh, Clarke, Mike Hussey, Ponting, Haddin, Hauritz/Lyon, Siddle, Bollinger, Cummins/Pattison......................

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    I will request Ian Chappell to take the brief on behalf of Irfan Pathan and push for his inclusion.Readers who belittle Ian Chappell for his many trivial comments and quite rightly so at times should forgive him and overlook his 'indiscreet',wrong observations for just one favour and for that all Indians,nay all genuine cricket lovers should be eternally grateful to him and that is for the comeback of Virender Sehwag. It was IC who campaigned for Sehwag's inclusion before the last tour to Australia and exhorted our selectors to take a punt or gamble on Sehwag's pedigree and prior success in Australia when Sehwag was left out of even the preliminary 25 selected,quite rightly it seemed because Sehwag's form in domestic cricket was terrible then.Have not seen any Indian journalist acknowledging Chappell's contribution to Sehwag's international comeback. I pray our selectors also bring back the awesomely talented but mishandled Irfan Pathan-this is the right time.Forget personal issue

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    I see some comments here indicating that people are offended by the fact that Ian expects only Sehwag to trouble the Aussie bowlers. The way I see it - early fall of Sehwag's wicket could result in a 30% jump towards Australia in terms of result. That because Dravid at 3, Gambhir & Sachin are all given to a lot of defensive batting at the fall of an early wicket. Though all of them have the class, the necessary guts to hit back seem to be missing with the others for the first few overs of their innings. That would open up opportunities for the bowling.....and that is what I think Ian is hinting at.

  • POSTED BY dariuscorny on | December 18, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    chappel himself giving signs that Aussies are rattled.guys dont get surprised if Yadav clocks higher speeds than Pattinson(over hyped)

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | December 18, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    If a great batsman like Viv Richards can drop down to No 5 then there's no reason why Ponting can't do the same to lend solidity to the middle order while letting the younger generation take charge at the top.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 18, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Just to add, this article by Chappelli reminds me of Harsha Bhogle's articles. They talk about ten different things in a slightly random order and the the topic of the heading (here moving Clarke up the order) is only 10% of the article. Harsha is even more illogical though, moving from Sachin to crowds to off spin bowling to IPL or whatever.

  • POSTED BY rtom on | December 18, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Ian, Don't forget that there is a guy in Indian team itching to make 100th century... once he does that all your calculations will go wrong !

  • POSTED BY couchpundit on | December 18, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    from what i understand from Ian chappell is Indian Team=Zaheer(fit),Sehwag,Ishant,Praveen(not available),Yadav(averages 145KPH- per ian has some pace, unknown quantity).

    Let me revisit this 2end of Jan 2012.

  • POSTED BY din7 on | December 18, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    sorry to say Mr chapell, but truth is sehwag plays only on flat decks. His avg outside subcontinent is merely around 30s and in 4th innings around 20s. If aussies prepare green wickets, he will be done in 10 to 15 deliveries. Its only sachin, dravid and laxman who can play on swing tracks. sehwag will play whn tracks will go flat as we saw in SA and ENG. speaking of clarke he shldn't play at no3, this will leave middle order vulnerable.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | December 18, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    How dare an article not say India are greatest team ever.Some of the comments on here are petulant in the extreme abd is why I so enjoy it when India lose because there is no humility or class about the fans who post on here.I hope India get white washed again as that is all they deserve for the lack of professionalism they show.The players are only interested in easy money of IPL and show no pride except for Dravid.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 18, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Not sure if the #3 spot is the problem for Aus and I dont think Clark has really excelled in that spot. I think Clark should keep the #4 spot for him while playing around with Marsh, Kawaja and Watson for the #3 spot while Warner will open unless he flops. Once Ponting ends at the end of this summer, both Kawaja and Marsh will be in the top 6 in any event. Its hard to imagine that outcome a series being hinged on a battle between a bowler who has played 2 tests and an opener who is argubaly on of the all time greats. Sewag may or may not fire but the likes of Dravid, Sachin and Lax will surely be a major problem from an inexperinced attack.

  • POSTED BY ajetti on | December 18, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    I have never understood the Australian policy of dropping players in form under the guise of promoting youth for a better tomorrow. Katich is the latest example. Right now Australia need someone like him. Why are they not employing the same strategy for Ponting? I haven't seen enough of Khawaja to comment. You never know, remember what everyone said about Amla? Given ample chances he may turn out to be their mainstay in the middle order. The article is hardly a sharp analysis of the series. The one thing I simply could not understand was this statement "he is led by a captain who isn't easily intimidated and won't cower behind a containment strategy"! Er... are you talking about Michael Clarke Mr Chappell? Okay I will not be rude but I will be keen to hear your thoughts after Sehwag has dismantled Pattinson. Repeatedly. Clarke is hardly a good captain, forget a great one. India will win.

  • POSTED BY Bobby_Talyarkhan on | December 18, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Ian Chappell was the world's best batsman, the world's best slip fielder and the world's best captain - he is now the world's best commentator on the game. PERIOD.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Classic example here of an Aussie talking up their chances before a series. Wait till reality hits, Ian and the collapse waiting to happen that is the Australian batting order goes into freefall again. Australia don't have a test playing team right now just a bunch of T20 wannabees who can't reliably defend their wickets. The Indians must be licking their lips in anticipation.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | December 18, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    I agree with @Gizza that "Australia's aging middle order is very brittle but the Indian bowlers can't just rely on that." This is why I wouldn't move Clarke up the order. Watson could be the stop gap 3 (until Marsh returns) allowing the logical replacement for Hughes, Cowan, to try to establish an understanding with Warner. Once Marsh returns, which should also coincide with Watson getting back to bowling, Watson could drop down the order. Since Ponting and Hussey are almost certainly playing their last series, it looks like Marsh's return will edge out one of them. But wishful thinking not logic is likely to guide the thinking of the selectors. I'd rather see a drawn series now and a competitive Ashes series in 2013, but trying to win both will likely rob certain players of necessary experience at the expense of those two guys on the way out. That is the way to tackle the top 3 "problem", Ian, not pushing a guy up who doesn't want to possibly face the new ball, like you always did!

  • POSTED BY tusharkardile on | December 18, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    Oh Ian, how did you forget to mention the umpires? As much as Sehwag and Zaheer, or Clarke and any new kid bowler, the umpires will play a very big part (as they have always done) in the outcome of the series. Anyway, as far as you are concerned, with so many people talking sense, looks like you want to take a different path. All the best for your next article.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    I am horribly disappointed with this article.Ian Chappel is one man whom I ahe HIGH regard for when it comes to writing on cricket.He is talking as if the only person capable of scoring runs in the Indian Team is Sehwag(who I think will be the least reliable) and that the only bowler capable of picking Aussie wickets is Zaheer.I'n not claiming that India is going to win hands down,either,but this is absolute rubbish,Mr Chappel.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    The Australian batting has been poor recently...but then so has indian bowling outside the sub-continent...sehwag and zaheer maybe important but its what ashwin or ojha bring to the table which'll prove significant and definitely gambhir's form.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    The Australian batting has been poor recently...but then so has indian bowling outside the sub-continent...sehwag and zaheer maybe important but its what ashwin or ojha bring to the table which'll prove significant and definitely gambhir's form.

  • POSTED BY ravinwije on | December 18, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Totally agree with this article. If Ponting really wants Australia to become a better team he has to retire and let a young bloke like Shaun Marsh or Usman Khawaja take the role he is playing permanentky. I also think Australia should stick yo one side instead of making so many changes not related to injuries.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    i think this guy is well past his sell by date... he always speaks rubbish with only one or two sane and pretty obvious points

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 18, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    @LILLIAN THOMSON,have to disagree ' transition ' is just a word used by teams to justify losing.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | December 18, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    @alexk400 - nonsense. A 94 by Sachin is as good as a 100. Think again. He scored 92 retired in the tour game. That is enough contribution. sachin 100th 100 is not an important issue. There should contributions from all batsman. This is a TEAM GAME. India is weak in the pace bowling deprtment. BCCI/SELECTORS/NCA should be responsible for this fiasco yet again. Nehra, Sreesanth and Irfan should be called up.

  • POSTED BY hmmmmm... on | December 18, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    I thing Boris6491 has a point - Clarke is our best player of spin and also struggles against the moving ball, so he is better at 5 and would probably find himself in trouble at 3. In fairness to Khawaja, you can't say he hasn't commanded an innings when he has come in at 2 for 10 everytime. He has shown that he has patience and technique far beyond his closest rivals - which is why we can't bat in bowler friendly conditions. wtason and warner don't strike me as a balanced opening pair as they are both aggressive openers. The better option would be Khawaja and Warner open, with watson at 3 (who can command an innings but might do better at first drop), then marsh, clark, hussey, Paine and the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | December 18, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    All these ludicrous "India won at Perth last time" comments. Australia was ravaged by injury, not illness. They had Rogers and Jaques as a makeshift opening pair and of course McGrath and Warne had just exited. In both innings Pathan removed the openers and Kumble and a fit and fast Ishant accounted for the rest. What people seem to forget is that like India, Australia has just played a series in South Africa and drawn it 1-1. That suggests that the teams are reasonably even in strength although Australia has home advantage. Problem is that both teams meet in a state of transition. Australia has replaced all its elderly players apart from Ponting and Hussey, and is back on the way up with their replacements like Pattinson and Lyon doing very well. India hasn't replaced any of its geriatrics - they are just a year older than in South Africa. Two even teams, but Australia is on the way back up, and India is on the way down.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | December 18, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I think this is a fairly NONSENSICAL article to be honest. I have a great respect for Ian Chappell as a former player and commentator.. but I don't think I am so sure about him as a writer for a piece. He seems to have forgotten that it was RAHUL DRAVID that has saved face for India the last 8 months. Veeru didn't do anything in England nor did Sachin Tendulkar. At the same time one cannot write off the brilliance of Sehwag as a butcher of good bowling. Tendulkar is still not done YET. So there is a lot for the Aussies to look forward to. It is only natural for us to support our countries BUT we need to back it up with relevant stats. I think Mr. Chappell has nothing to base his arguments on. India are the stronger of the two teams. Looking at that middle order to should give the Aussies nightmares. Too bad most of their boys are busy playing BBL. Green pitches or not.. India should win this series unless their bowling completely breaks down.

  • POSTED BY dnarmstrong on | December 18, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Tis certainly peculiar that two players with 26,000 runs between them apparently aren't considered important to the outcome of this series. Haven't seen any test runs from sehwag for a while now, you could take him out and the rest of the lineup still looks like they'll get by.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 18, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    @gupta_ankur,thats because he's right!

  • POSTED BY Wefinishthis on | December 18, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Australia's batting is not predictably unpredictable, it is pathetic. I can't even remember the last time they scored 400+ when we used to do it consistently. It would have been a long time ago and even then it was rare. Aus need to go back to what we used to do when we picked players based on performance, not on hunches, 'back the player' mentality or former player's opinions like Doherty, Beer etc. The English started doing what we used to do and look where they are now. If the English used our current system, they'd still have Harmison and Panesar instead of Swann and all of their accurate bowlers like Finn, Broad, Tremlett and Bresnan. Trott would never have been picked, Pietersen would probably be captain and Cook and Bell would probably be out of form, since they would have had no pressure on their spot in the side. Batsmen averaging below 45 for more than 2 years is simply not good enough and no great bowler ever averaged more than 25. I could get us back to no.1.

  • POSTED BY SmellyCat on | December 18, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    This article is lacking direction.. the team with better bowlers and fitness will win.. India look miles ahead in batting, at least statistically. And I think Ashwin could spring a surprise or two with his height and the bounce, and the accuracy...

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | December 18, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    Every time i read Chappell's article before an Indian Overseas tour, i see the same things written over and over again...

    Sehwag is the key, no matter his failures in NZ/Eng/SA, against swing bowling.....

    How Indian batsmen struggle on green pitches, no matter their record overseas and his own team getting all out for 47....

    Pretty predictable........

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    You know, if there's a green tinge to the pitch, Sehwag will be the first Indian batsman out. The key doesn't lie there, but rather with Dravid, Tendulkar, and Laxman; I can't believe everyone has started to think these guys are so fallible; yes, Dravid aside (who thrives on testing pitches), they did have a tough time. Tendulkar and Laxman have proved themselves on testing pitches so many times in the past. It's tiring to keep having to say this. Ian is right though about the bowling aspect of things, I really do hope Zaheer is fit right through the series.

  • POSTED BY boris6491 on | December 18, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    I'm sorry Ian but I don't quite agree with you. I definitely am with you when you say that Clarke is the kingpin and needs to shoulder more responsibility. But we've seen him struggle at number 4, he hasn't been great there and if that's the case, I definitely wouldn't want him higher up the order. He has prospered at number 5 and considering he's Australia's principal batsman in test cricket (or at least will be upon the retirements of Ponting and Hussey), he needs to stay where it is best for him, not where the team thinks is best. Fact is, he fares a lot better when the ball is older and the spinners are on and I believe it's best to keep it that way.

  • POSTED BY Patchmaster on | December 18, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    I honestly think ENG will be delighted if Clarke moves to No.3 for the next Ashes, because he genuinely was their bunny. I think they should keep Ponting in where he is. He's a big match player and will score heavily against India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    why clarke???? why arent u guys ready to give usman khawaja a fair chance to prove his worth??? he is the best batsmen of the current new lot.....and u ppl are insisting on hughes and others.......get a break guys.......dnt do the same to ur batting like u did to ur bowling by giving johnson chances after chances

  • POSTED BY nishant1809 on | December 18, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Well said.. yeah Australia's batting is predictably unpredictable, but Indians would have learned their lesson in their forgettable tour of the English... Zaheer has to fire, and also he has to make sure that the inexperienced bowlers around him fire. Whichever of the two bowling attack comes good, should have the upper hand in the series, as Indian batting lineup, though with a lot of experience has always followed a curvy graph of consistency. Given India's overseas record, and also Australia's current form, both teams have an equal chance of winning.

  • POSTED BY Zafar_Abbas on | December 18, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Mr. Ian Chappel, this is the first time I will be agreeing with you... In fact I have been feeling this for a couple of years that Clarke should get up to no. 3, if Aus need a stable batting order. Punter will get some breathing space as well

  • POSTED BY GrtIndia_Ann on | December 18, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    from my reading through many of Ian's stupid coloums...i generalised his opinions : 1.as far as possible...support Ricky and Aus....

    2.As far as possible oppose or critisize or find weak points in Sachin and India...

    when he praises sehwag his main intention or focus is not sehwag...but he wants to show make sachin look a bit inferior.....dont get me wrong frnds...im a big fan of veeru......this old fella is writing nonsence off late....

  • POSTED BY yogi.s on | December 18, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    Mr.Chappell says Ind are not endowed with proven swing bowlers but the question I would like to ask him is,was doug bracewell against whom the aussie batsman came a cropper a proven bowler?? Also, does taking wickets against a NZ batting order in perfect swing and seam conditions ( as he himself mentions) make james pattinson or mitchell starc proven bowlers??? Yes there is reason to be excited with the present aussie quicks but seems like Mr.Chappell got a little too excited. His suggestion that clarke come up the order is however a well thought and interesting suggestion. May be the kind of move the aussies might benefit from.

  • POSTED BY sasi on | December 18, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    mr chappel u should stop being so sure about ur views, u 2 brothers have proved wrong on numerous occasions of late. As Australia have been weak recently, ur constant desire to make up for their performances by advocating their flaws is becoming very difficult to bear everyday. do urself a favor by being less country oriented and talk about the game more. by the way, clark was an incapable no4 batsman (he replaced hussey in 2010) and was dropped down the order. he couldnt possible be successful at 3 especially when u have such makshift and injury proneopeners like watson, mr flaw huges, Mr slambang Warner, Injure prone and not yet tried and tested Shaun marsh.

  • POSTED BY SSRajan on | December 18, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    IC is partially right. Particularly about the OZ top order. But, I don't agree with what he said about the Indian bowling. Zaheer's value is not in the number of wickets he takes but in his mentorship of the rest of the bowling. Others bowl better when he is playing. Plus I don't think the venues Oz that much. WACA was supposed to be suitable for Oz last time as well. Look what happened. All in all, it will be a good series. No clear advantage to one team, but India will start favs., in spite of the England disaster.

  • POSTED BY eshwarmv on | December 18, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    A well written article. Totally agree with Ian Chappell. India's batting will definitely be far better than the England tour. Since time immemorial, India have strung together couple of good series followed by a catastrophic one. It has always been a part and parcel of Indian cricket.

    The Aussie batsmen can definitely look forward towards a brighter summer as Indian bowlers have a penchant for bringing back out of form batsmen into form. The bowling of Zaheer and Umesh will be important. But, chappell forgot to mention the spinners. There will be no help for the spinners, agreed but, aussies can get panicky against quality spinners.

    It will be an evenly contested series if the Indian batsmen fire.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Chappel have forgotten last time india beaten aussuie in Perth

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    One series against weak batting lineup has got Mr. Chappell thinking that Australian bowling is good to pin down Indians on green tracks. India will pose a bigger challenge in batting than what NZ did. But I feel if Irfan Pathan comes in for Ishant Sharma, the bowling will present some kind of a challenge.!

  • POSTED BY Governor on | December 18, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    I totally agree with Chappelli on the job requirements for a number 3 batsman. A number 3 batsman must be able to take charge of the innings. He has to bat in a similar fashion to Ricky Ponting, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards and Ian Chappell. Khawaja is not a number 3 batsman, but Michael Clarke does not want to bat at first drop. The only option is for the selectors to take a gamble on Aaron Finch. But, he has not scored a truck load of shield runs this year.

  • POSTED BY LordOfCric on | December 18, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Will you please let poor kid (Usman Khuwaja) alone, I dont know what is it with chapell? He been after that kid ever since he made his debut. Every match he has played condition were tough for batsmen. It wasn't like he not scoring runs where other scoring triple century. Usman has very sound technique and good cricketing brain give a lad some time.......................

  • POSTED BY sabee66 on | December 18, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    i can't beleive he is saying Australia batting Unpredictable, just that they didn't show up in few games, and Ussie has show in SA how good he can be at No.3, give him a break, would you? if Hussey, ponting,hadding, and FAKE injured Johnson can stay so longer without doing anythign, i beleive Ussie will be an asset for Australia in future, the guy is a genuine Test player. Australia will win easily if they just played their natural game, Indians are good in Papers as ever....lol

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    For me you are as strong as your weakest link. Who has bigger weakest link ? They will lose the series. I see India losing the series 95%. 5% i have to give to FREAK sehwag ability to change the game on his own. Yes sachin, dravid, VVS can put up a respectable score. That won't be enough when it comes second innings. We all know indians can't play well in second innings. India choked in bombay against england to a no name spinner. It is going to be India bowling weakness vs aussie batting weakness. Aussie can seal it by bringing katich and open with warner. if aussie batsman attacks indian bowling series is over at that point. I think aussie should bowl to a plan in bowling and wait for indians to crumble under pressure and attack when they bat. if you score fast against indian bowling and there will be a self doubt on these in experienced bowlers. They will never recover whole series. Clarke don't cheat though. Respect the rules. But attack indian bowlers..all the time.

  • POSTED BY FatBoysCanBat on | December 18, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Clarke should definitely bat at 3. He is Australia's best middle batsman and so often takes an innings by the scruff of the neck - which is what you need from your number 3 - Ponting did this for years but he has lost the ability to do that nowadays. Aussies best team and best batting order when all fit is as follows: 1 Warner 2 Marsh 3 Clarke 4 Ponting 5 Hussey 6 Watson 7 Wade/Paine 8 Harris 9 Pattinson 10 Cummins 11 Lyon. Back-up can be provided as follows; pace by Siddle and Starc, spin by O'Keefe, keeper by whichever of Paine or Wade isn't in the first team, All-rounder by Christian, middle-order bat by Khawaja and opening bat by Cowan.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | December 18, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    No he shouldn't, cos he isn't good enough to bat there. We need a guy like Marsh who can handle the new ball to bat there. Number 3 is not about experience, it is about skill. Clarke constantly struggles when exposed to the new ball.

  • POSTED BY .Raina on | December 18, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Pup at No.3 would be interesting; especially since he has never been a higher order batsmen. Although a great accumulator, he is as vulnerable early-on as is Ponting. Khawaja may still find himself coming out at that spot at MCG, although he hasn't gone beyond his good starts; and he needs to make that happen soon. Umesh Yadav has shown a lot of promise in his brief international career, and this series may define his rise to the next level or be thrown back-to-school just like Phil Hughes. It would be interesting to see how long Zaheer stays up and running. Ishant's injury is a big worry for the Indians; and probably their selectors won't have enough courage to fly-in the in-form Irfan Pathan at this stage. Other back-ups with the team shouldn't create too many surprises. So Aussies may not need to focus too much on India's bowling for MCG, but their own batting is a big worry and may lead to their downfall; and they would be the first one's to bat in any case. Sehwag, a big if!!

  • POSTED BY manoj.aspen on | December 18, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    HI

    I'm agree with Ian Chappell's idea to drop Rickey down the order and mover Michael Clarke to No 3. Rickey has been a great Batsman all his years and he is still is capable of delivering big innings at no 3. The way Australian Media and former players have targeted the Rickey it has not served any good to him or the Australian Team. Rickey may be nearing his end but he is still has the guts to win matches single handed especially when he is playing at home and against India. lets' give him last chance at No 3 and hope he end well...

    Manoj Singh

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | December 18, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    "The sight of greenish pitches will have the Indian batsmen reeling, and consequently the Australian pace bowlers will have a psychological advantage. " Well said Mr.Chapell. I thought it is OZ batsmen who have been sent back to school to learn precisely how to play in similar conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    i dont think so,..............................................

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | December 18, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    I always assumed that Clarke was the natural successor to Ponting in the #3 spot, so I was surprised when Australia started trying others out in that spot. I guess that they must see Marsh in there long-term so, when he went down injured, they figured slot Khawaja in there so the others don't keep getting messed about. That said, if Clarke is going to go back up to #4 when Ponting retires, he's getting messed about anyway. If Australia see Marsh and Khawaja in the team long-term, I wonder where they intend Khawaja and Clarke to bat. Maybe they intend Clarke to stay at #5. It seems that they intend Watson to keep opening, which doesn't seem the best use of his talent, so why should they necessarily make the most of anyone else?

  • POSTED BY Number1CricketFan on | December 18, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Pattinson, Cummings, Siddle, Harris, Johnson, Starc. Top class fast bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    India can win also. But lots of things has to click. Key is fitness of Zaheer Khan. I don't think Ishant sharma is fit almost 3 months. he just got on the plane so he get by being selected of the team. It seems selectors are sleeping and not doing the job again. Some one head should roll for this blunder. He should be shipped out to india immediately. Yadav has to be very disciplined and not spray.Vinay kumar give too much runs and get lucky wickets. Mithun don't give runs and don't take wickets. So Abasically it has to be Yadav/Zaheer/ Ojha/ Ashwin/Sehwag/Raina/Rohit has to manage the load. Unless there is enough runs on the board india winning is very remote. Back to batting. Indian openers decide the series to draw or loss. Win depends on indian bowling with sehwag making double century. Can happen... very remote. If shehwag try to be not out in TEST , India will win this series. Yes india winning depends on sehwag because he is the only warrior in the team.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 18, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Aussies may weakened but never underestimate the aussies not to fight tooth and nail. Is india ready to fight in your face. I still think india has upper hand if not that impending sachin 100th century. It is the distracting issue for players who work hard to win. That is the only thing pulling india down. India lost badly in england because of sachin. Indian openers deliberately played to get out so sachin face new ball quickly. That said there is NO UDRS. Aussies can appeal many times and umpires will soon will raise their finger. if Pattinson can hit sachin pad often...as long as aussie bowlers are discpline like england did to india. England minimized their weakness and able to route india with ease. Aussies have weakness in opening , 1 down, middle order. I think my team is Katich / Warner/ clarke /ponting/Hussey/Haddin/Pattinson/Bolinger/Peter siddle/Lyons. Lyons seems like a fighter. He can clean out indian tail with his sharp spin. Carke should not allow him to bowl to sehwag

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    pattinson beaware of Shewag!!!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 18, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    "THE WACA WOULD DEFINITLEY SUIT AUSTRALIA". CHAPPELL YOU FORGOT LAST TIME IT WAS THE INDIAN BATSMEN WHO SCORE RUNS ON WACA ( LAST TIME TOO WE DON'T HAVE ZAHEER ON WACA ) & YOUR AUSSIE BATSMEN WERE BLOWN BY CLUB LEVEL INDIAN BOWLING . CHAPELL IF YOU THINK INDIAN BATSMEN STRUGGLE ON GREEN WKTS(WHICH IS TRUE) THEN YOUR AUSSIE BATSMEN STRRUGLE MORE THAN INDIAN BATSMEN . ALSO ISHANT IS INJURED THEN WE WILL SEND PATHAN AS HIS COVER . WE DIDN'T MAKE 300 IN ENGLAND IN 8 INNINGS BUT WE WERE ALSO NOT BLOWN SCORES LIKE 88 , 98 , 47 , 136 , 127 . IN EVERY INNINGS INDIA MAKE 250 RUNS AT LEAST .ALSO SYDNEY IS BATTING PARADISE FOR INDIAN BATMSEN . CHECK THE RECORDS OF SACHIN , LAXMAN , DRAVID THERE .

  • POSTED BY CNBAS5 on | December 18, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Dear Mr Chappell...looks like you know only to spell Sehwag. What about the nightmare your team will face with Sachin, Dravid and most importantly VVS. This is a golden opportunity for VVS to score century in each innings he plays and bow out. I watched Pattinson, I can't wait for Sehwag to maul this bowling,,,please bowl the same way full length to the bat and watch every ball sail over Deep point for sixes. I really can't wait to see Sehwag scoring century before lunch. This will be a run feast for the Indians with the ball pitched up. Excellent strategy by Australia playing into the hands of the Indian Gladiators!!! Your team's bowling will suffer more than the batting as Indian attack is known to bring every out of form player back to full form. Don't worry Punter will not retire for another 4 years due to his form with the Indians in this series....that's a consolation.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    i agree with this, clarkes positive batting would be suited for number 3, khawaja gets to bobbed down at times and i think shaun marsh would be suited down the order with hussey

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    I think Mr. Chappal has forgot the nightmares given by VVS to AUS in past, everyone knows he plays his best cricket against AUS and won't be too shy this time either. VVS can score runs at brisk rate, if not as quick as Sehwag and I need not to talk about Sachin and Rahul too can easily demoralise AUS rookie quicks by playing them down....so do not make a mistake by focussing only on two players ZAK and Sehwag; others too, can pulverize you with the same intensity!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Isn't this guy amazing? Just 2 weeks after saying, "There are runs in Ricky still", he now says Ricky should retire. Rolling stones gather no moss!

  • POSTED BY longlivewoodoo on | December 18, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    India are good enough to manage green pitches but australia will be killed by himself (Like Bhasmasur - a devil in hindus myth). Don't forget R Ashwin. He can take wkts on any pitch. He is goin to be in top 3 bowlers in icc ranking in next 8 months.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    You cant still say punter is in his twilight...with his experience he can torment the indians with his attacking play...also except the big three , most of the batsmen are under cooked for test...so its in the power of aus bowling to decide the result of this series...clarke should still play at 5 or 6 bcoz of little stumbling in the middle order...

  • POSTED BY Kawabanga on | December 18, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    Last time India toured Australia, the WACA was the one venue where India won the test match.

  • POSTED BY donda on | December 18, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    I don't know what Ian Chappel is saying here. He thinks that Clarke, Pattinson, Sehwag and Zaheer are only players who can decide the series. He is really sleeping and some body should go ahead and wake him up.

    Dravid is in form of his life , he showed in England that how good he is against any type of Bowling. Tendulkar , no words, because his record shows how good he is. Laxman, on his day, he can surpass bradman

    When comes to Australia, Hussey , Ponting are not far behind , on their day they can change the whole match. Remember what Hussey did to Pakistan two years ago.

    I think Ian chappel should give respect to legends in both teams. One loss against england don't make any difference to legend players in both teams.

    It is going to be great contest and i am sure these legends will play big role. Not new comers.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | December 18, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Well written .Indians would feel feverish by seeing grass on the pitch ,which they will, atleast at MCG .WACA was where Indians beat Aussies in early 2008 but that is history .Sehwag 's blitzkrieg is the key to India's success.Dravid-Sachin duo can fire but Laxman,Gambhir and No.6 (Kohli/Sharma)remain India's concern.But the biggest weakness India has is lack of good support to Khan that will help in claiming 20 Wkts on Aus pitches.Ishant Sharma's fraud has already been detected.The guy went with a damaged ankle and will return with the same by abandoning the tour.Ojha -Ravichandran Ashwin duo should be tried instead of mandatory 3 medium pacers out of which 2 will fail and in the process help revive sagging careers of Ponting andf Hussey.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | December 18, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    India as always will rely on Sehwag for the quick runs to set up the game, Dravid to hold the innings together and Laxman when they're in a spot of bother. Gambhir has to hang out there for a while with Sehwag too and Kohli/Sharma have to at least try to do better than Raina in the middle order. With regards to their bowling, they need Zaheer to stay fit and Ishant to find the form he did last tour both of which are possible occasionally but unlikely consistently. Either that or Yadav/Ashwin/Ojha step up despite their inexperience (maybe one of those three will) or curtains. Still think Australia's aging middle order is very brittle but the Indian bowlers can't just rely on that. Warner, Watson, Marsh and Clarke can all make 150+ scores and maybe even Khawaja will finally step up.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    A very well written article stating all the facts as they are.Chappel is very much right when he mentions Zaher effect on Indian bowling.Aus may have problems against swing and seam movement but how in the world are bowlers who failed to beat a bat in England going to swing the ball around in Australia-answer is with Zaheer.When he plays he almost plays like a bowling captain.(remember last 2 tests in SA).BUT Aus will not have conditions favorable for swing but for pace and bounce-their strength.This is manageable especially because these tests are played in summer as against the NZ tests when a bit of rain was still left down under.Also Zaheer will DEFINITELY NOT play 4 test matches.he has not done that in his entire career.how can he do that now at the age of 33.Also coming back from injury he will find the going tough atleast in the first test HE PLAYS.2-0 aus.BUT from an Aus perspective amasing runs against Ind bowling in aus dont mean anything for their batting strength.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 18, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    Brilliant article Ian, and very well put. Clarke could definitely play at 3 as he is easily our best batsman at the moment. I still think Watto shouldn't be playing if he can't bowl.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    the 4 venues that MR CHAPPELL is talking about favour the indians. WACA is the very same ground where our inexperienced fast bowlers rattled the aussies to stop their win streak. Sydney, who can forget that test when there were 15 umpire decisions against the INDIANS.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    green pitches can be risk for the aussies also considering the number of low scores they have been making so frequently these days. clark character lacks the killer instint that has been hallmark of the previous aussie teams and this i certainly go into the favour of Indians , I agree khawaja is not the answer , he dont have the game to produce counter attack which is a must have for someone at number 3. Between Hussey is a walking wicket , his times have finished . Its difficult to see australia winning more than one test match IMO. Batting will a big weakness for them , much bigger than india's batting I would say .

  • POSTED BY intcamd on | December 18, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Well, as an Aussie, Ian Chappel is talking up his own book, although how it qualifies him to be an objective commentator kn cricinfo is any one's guess. Be that as it may, his emphasis on Zahee and Sehwag as the sole keys for India is a shallow analysis, especially Sehwag. Zaheer being healthy will help ofcourse. But the Indian batting is strong, Sehwag or not. And Ian obviously does n't remember the last Indian tour, or else he would not be claiming that the WACA is tot their advantage. But enough of words, let us get some action.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    Its easier said than done..Sehwag under control?? Well he is not gonna be intimidated by anyone or anything...........

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Looking forward to the series. Hope that Dhoni and the boys can get it together -- they can't use lack of preparation as an excuse this time. Hopefully they can stay injury free and match-fit.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Sorry Sir Didn't Think n That Fashion Because India Bowling Is As Good As Australians So I Think If Green Pitches Are Available In Any Of The Venues Then U Will Understand y Indian Bowlers Are So Menacing In Bowler Friendly Pitches

  • POSTED BY AnthonyA on | December 18, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    he should bat number 3 for a few Test series, and if he's not doing well put him to number 5

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 18, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    Australia today are misled in many facets of the game.Hilditch has destroyed the structure of CA.Now the Aussie cricket team has to start from scratch and should go back to the old school basics like in the 1980s when Border was captain.The line up should consist of specialists rather than stop gap players.The line up in my opinion is Ed Cowans or Shaun Marsh, Dave Warner, Ponting (He will not be dropped), Clarke,Hussey, Watson,Mathew Wade(Haddin has been reckless in many of the collapses that Australia had recently), Harris, Siddle, Pattinson and Lyon.

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 18, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Just can't understand even after playing cricket for so long and being an expert commentator, Ian Chappell does not reflect on the basics of Test match cricket, i.e. you go in with specialists and not stop gap players as far as batting is concerned.He suggests Clarke to go in at No.3 but wants Watson to be the opener,which is nothing but a joke.Watson is no opener in any way. The problem has actually started for Australia since he was made opener along with Katich who also was not an opener himself.And this talk about Watson being the most valuable player does not hold any salt.While batting he rarely scores big and he takes wickets only when there is some juice in the pitch and drops sitters in the slips while fielding.Watson has no temperament of an opener as he usually gets out in his 40s and 50s whereas solid openers go on and score big centuries. It is horribly amusing that nobody is even talking about Ed Cowans who has scored 4 centuries in his last 5 innings.

  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | December 18, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Nice Article! Mostly Ian is spot on with his comments! Cannot wait for the Boxing day test......

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  • POSTED BY sankar8000 on | December 18, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Nice Article! Mostly Ian is spot on with his comments! Cannot wait for the Boxing day test......

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 18, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Just can't understand even after playing cricket for so long and being an expert commentator, Ian Chappell does not reflect on the basics of Test match cricket, i.e. you go in with specialists and not stop gap players as far as batting is concerned.He suggests Clarke to go in at No.3 but wants Watson to be the opener,which is nothing but a joke.Watson is no opener in any way. The problem has actually started for Australia since he was made opener along with Katich who also was not an opener himself.And this talk about Watson being the most valuable player does not hold any salt.While batting he rarely scores big and he takes wickets only when there is some juice in the pitch and drops sitters in the slips while fielding.Watson has no temperament of an opener as he usually gets out in his 40s and 50s whereas solid openers go on and score big centuries. It is horribly amusing that nobody is even talking about Ed Cowans who has scored 4 centuries in his last 5 innings.

  • POSTED BY jameswayne on | December 18, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    Australia today are misled in many facets of the game.Hilditch has destroyed the structure of CA.Now the Aussie cricket team has to start from scratch and should go back to the old school basics like in the 1980s when Border was captain.The line up should consist of specialists rather than stop gap players.The line up in my opinion is Ed Cowans or Shaun Marsh, Dave Warner, Ponting (He will not be dropped), Clarke,Hussey, Watson,Mathew Wade(Haddin has been reckless in many of the collapses that Australia had recently), Harris, Siddle, Pattinson and Lyon.

  • POSTED BY AnthonyA on | December 18, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    he should bat number 3 for a few Test series, and if he's not doing well put him to number 5

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Sorry Sir Didn't Think n That Fashion Because India Bowling Is As Good As Australians So I Think If Green Pitches Are Available In Any Of The Venues Then U Will Understand y Indian Bowlers Are So Menacing In Bowler Friendly Pitches

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Looking forward to the series. Hope that Dhoni and the boys can get it together -- they can't use lack of preparation as an excuse this time. Hopefully they can stay injury free and match-fit.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    Its easier said than done..Sehwag under control?? Well he is not gonna be intimidated by anyone or anything...........

  • POSTED BY intcamd on | December 18, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Well, as an Aussie, Ian Chappel is talking up his own book, although how it qualifies him to be an objective commentator kn cricinfo is any one's guess. Be that as it may, his emphasis on Zahee and Sehwag as the sole keys for India is a shallow analysis, especially Sehwag. Zaheer being healthy will help ofcourse. But the Indian batting is strong, Sehwag or not. And Ian obviously does n't remember the last Indian tour, or else he would not be claiming that the WACA is tot their advantage. But enough of words, let us get some action.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    green pitches can be risk for the aussies also considering the number of low scores they have been making so frequently these days. clark character lacks the killer instint that has been hallmark of the previous aussie teams and this i certainly go into the favour of Indians , I agree khawaja is not the answer , he dont have the game to produce counter attack which is a must have for someone at number 3. Between Hussey is a walking wicket , his times have finished . Its difficult to see australia winning more than one test match IMO. Batting will a big weakness for them , much bigger than india's batting I would say .

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    the 4 venues that MR CHAPPELL is talking about favour the indians. WACA is the very same ground where our inexperienced fast bowlers rattled the aussies to stop their win streak. Sydney, who can forget that test when there were 15 umpire decisions against the INDIANS.