With the World Test Championship Final now out of the way, the focus will once again shift towards the Test series against England. India will take on the home side in a series of five Tests which begins from August 4 and will continue until September.
Ahead of that Test series, former Australian captain Ian Chappell has backed India to perform well and beat England in the series. He shed light on India’s formidable pace-bowling unit as the primary reason behind his confidence in the side.
Despite losing the World Test Championship Final to New Zealand in Southampton, Ian Chappell thinks very highly of India’s bowling unit. According to him, the Men in Blue have become a ‘pace-bowling proficient’ team over the last few years, joining the likes of the legendary West Indies and Australian sides of the past.
“In recent years India has joined the ranks of pace-bowling proficient teams. As a consequence, they have enjoyed success in Australia, reached the final of the WTC, and now have an even-money chance of beating England on their home turf,” Chappell wrote in his latest column on ESPNCricinfo.
The Australian legend believes that the quartet of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj have served Team India well.
“Good pace bowling definitely has its advantages,” he added.
Ian Chappell also lavished praise on New Zealand and their fast-bowling unit who made the lives of Indian batsmen difficult in the World Test Championship Final. The former Australian captain didn’t shy away from mentioning them in the same breath as West Indies’ legendary pace-bowling quartets from the 70s to the 90s.
“New Zealand’s well-deserved win in the World Test Championship final highlighted an accepted adage in cricket: fast bowling rules,” Chappell said.
“New Zealand’s pace quartet — Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, and Kyle Jamieson — made possible their presence in the final. Then in the prolonged battle with India for supremacy, the quick bowlers led the last-day victory charge.”
He added, “Such was the influence of the New Zealand attack that there was even a comparison with the formidable West Indies quartets that ruled from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s.”
Chappell pointed to the fact that in terms of pace, the West Indies bowling unit would win without a question. However, in terms of results, New Zealand have carved their own unique and rich legacy.
“If it’s pace you’re talking about, the West Indies quartet wins hands down. However, if you look purely at results, the New Zealand four take the prize — five matches together for a 100% winning record. That West Indies combination only played together in six matches and while never beaten, they were held to three draws,” he said.