'India will start as favourites' - Ian Chappell on Test series between India and England

‘India will start as favourites’ – Ian Chappell on Test series between India and England

Ian Chappell lauded Indian team for an exemplary performance against Australia as they managed to retain the prestigious Border Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell carried out a detailed analysis on the England and India Test cricket teams ahead of the four-match Test series between the two nations, starting from February 5 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Chappell talked about all the players of both the teams at length and revealed that India are the favourites to win the series.

The former Aussie lauded Indian team for an exemplary performance against Australia as they managed to retain the prestigious Border Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1. Playing against England, India will also enjoy the services of their skipper Virat Kohli, who hadn’t featured in the last three Test matches against Australia.

“India will start as favourites after an exhilarating victory over Australia, overcoming all obstacles. When you add the name Virat Kohli to the batting order, the team suddenly assumes a bulletproof cloak. In also adding the names R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma to the list of available players, India take on an unbeatable appearance,” Ian Chappell wrote in his column for ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

Speaking about the top-order of both the teams, Chappell feels that India has an edge over England as the former have a technically sound top-order while Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have been lately struggling to score runs.

“However it’s the top of the England order, where another returning player, Rory Burns, will reside, that the scales tip in India’s favour. India’s top three feature an impressive Shubman Gill, a talented but flawed Rohit Sharma and the indomitable Cheteshwar Pujara, which places them well ahead of England’s top order,” the former captain added.

Ian Chappell opines on the middle-order of England and India

While the 77-year-old reckoned that the two teams have excellent bowling units and also boast of having a competent middle-order, the visitors can be at a disadvantage after the first Test as Jos Buttler will travel back to England owing to the player regulation policy by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant and the possible addition of Pandya have India well placed to take full advantage of any good start. England are similarly placed with Stokes and Jos Buttler as their lethal weapons. The possible return of Ollie Pope would add some dependability to the threatening nature of that section of the batting order.”

“However Buttler’s departure after just one Test and the possible return of Ravindra Jadeja to the Indian line-up would swing the scales further in favour of the home team,” Ian Chappell concluded.