Kohli’s absence will create big hole in Indian batting: Chappell

Kohli will return home after the first Test in Adelaide from December 17 to 21, to welcome his first child

By   |  Published: 22nd Nov 2020  6:15 pm
Ian Chappell Source: cricket.com.au

Sydney: The legendary Ian Chappell believes that Virat Kohli’s departure after the first India-Australia Test next month will leave a “big hole” in the visiting line-up, creating a selection dilemma which could ultimately decide which way the series goes.

Kohli will return home after the first Test in Adelaide from December 17 to 21, to welcome his first child. The 77-year-old Chappell feels the situation provides a perfect opportunity for young Indian batters to show their skills.

“This creates both a big hole in the Indian batting order and an opportunity for one of their talented young players to make a name for himself,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.com.

“What was already shaping up as an exciting tussle now has the added stimulus of crucial selection decisions. The result could well come down to who is the bravest set of selectors.”

Stressing on the importance of making correct selection choices, Chappell voted in favour of Will Pucovski over an off-colour Joe Burns to be David Warner’s partner at Australia’s opening slot. He differed with Australia coach Justin Langer, who has backed Burns. Chappell said selection should always be made on the basis of current form.

“…I was flummoxed by the Australian coach’s summation of the choice between incumbent Joe Burns and rising star Will Pucovski for the job of David Warner’s opening partner.

“…you shouldn’t overestimate the value of the partnership. Burns’ contributions last summer equated to an aggregate of 256 runs at an average of 32 with two half-centuries. That is the performance of a below-average Test player,” the former Australia skipper said.

“Pucovski has taken a sledgehammer to the entryway by making six centuries at Shield level, three of them doubles; two of those double-hundreds came this season,” he added. Chappell feels India will have an edge over the hosts in terms of preparation in the Covid-19 times. “This summer’s chaotic, pandemic-plagued Australian cricket schedule may just benefit India in their quest to repeat last tour’s series victory. India’s enforced period of lockdown – with training allowed – will provide the team more time to acclimatise in Australian conditions than the rushed pre-Test schedule that touring teams normally experience,” he said.

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