Lack of all-rounders will hurt India: Ian Chappell

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Melbourne, Jan 9 (IANS) Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell believes that India lack genuine all-rounders and are too dependent on their top four batsmen which might pose a real problem in the forthcoming limited-overs series against favourites Australia.

The visitors are scheduled to play five One-Day Internationals (ODI) starting at the WACA, Perth on January 12, followed by three Twenty20 Internationals against the hosts.

Chappell opined that if India lose early wickets, they will be compelled to play a conservative brand of cricket.

“India doesn’t have the luxury of numerous all-rounders. While they have a very talented and aggressive top four, headed by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, if they lose early wickets they then have to play conservatively,” Chappell wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

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“This makes Australia the team most likely to post a huge first innings target, with India’s best chance of victory coming in a tight run chase where MS Dhoni produces a trademark well timed finishing flourish,” he said.

Youngsters Gurkeerat Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Barinder Singh Sran and Manish Pandey have been included in the ODI squad while Hardik Pandya has been named in the T20 squad.

“Following a lacklustre Test season, the public is thirsty for some meaningful contests. India has the big names and the talent to push Australia but I don’t see them beating the home side, as both teams ramp up their quest for another world title,” Chappell said.

“India will be searching for chinks in the Australian armour on this tour, safe in the knowledge that they already have a ­blueprint for victory in home conditions. That doesn’t mean India will sacrifice a ODI series victory by focusing mainly on their T20 prospects,” he added.

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Australia will miss recently retired pacer Mitchell Johnson and the injured Mitchell Starc in their bowling line-up.

The selectors have named Glenn Maxwell as the only spinner in their squad, pointing out that the pitches in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney would assist the quick bowlers.

Uncapped fast bowlers Scott Boland and Joel Paris are in line for their international debuts after being named in the squad, besides Josh Hazlewood and James Faulkner.

“Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade and James Faulkner can all either capitalise on a fast start from dashing David Warner and Aaron Finch, or resurrect an innings that has gone awry at the top,” he said.

“The likely plan for Australia in this series will be to plunder the faster bowlers and milk the spinners. Australia will implement the plan knowing it won’t necessarily achieve success in the World T20 in India. Nevertheless, Australia’s objective is to win now and then worry about the World T20 later,” the 72-year-old said.

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