New Delhi: India need to sort out their inadequacies in batting before standing up to an "extremely strong" bowling attack later this year in Australia, feels former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
Virat Kohli's India will hope for redemption in Australia after Test series reverses in South Africa and England. "India now have to look on rehabilitating their reputation in the highly anticipated series against Australia but the batting inadequacies have to be addressed," Chappell wrote in ESPNcricinfo.
"While Australia's batting is questionable, with their two best players, Steven Smith and David Warner, missing through suspension, the bowling attack is still extremely strong," he added. India are slated to tour Australia for three T20 internationals, four Test matches and three ODIs from 21 November to 18 January.
"If Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Patrick Cummins and Nathan Lyon remain fit then the Indian batsmen will be in for a challenging time. In England it was movement through the air and off the seam that created regular problems for them — apart from Virat Kohli — but it will be the extra bounce in Australia that sorts the men from the men," Chappell added.
India were beaten 2-0 in the four-Test series on their last tour of Australia in 2014-15. Chappell further said, "A confident and in-form Rohit Sharma would be an ideal player to bolster the batting in Australia. His authoritative horizontal bat shots are perfectly designed to cope with the testing extra bounce, but sadly Rohit has never really come to grips with batting in Test cricket. Selecting him for the tour would be a gamble."
The batting great termed India's 4-1 loss to England a missed opportunity, saying, "India should view their disappointing 4-1 series loss to England as a missed opportunity. They were highly competitive in the series - apart from a disastrous loss at Lord's - but the squad had enough ability to do better than just compete."
"The batting was disappointing and especially the way they played spin bowling in Southampton. A great opportunity went begging when their failure to be more proactive against Moeen Ali meant a chance to level the series was squandered," said Chappell.
He went on to berate the Indian batsmen for their approach, saying, "apart from Cheteshwar Pujara, no player was prepared to alter the offspinner's flight path by leaving his crease. The series loss is even more of a wasted opportunity when you consider how well the Indian fast bowlers performed."
He said England should also watch out for the Australians ahead of next summer's Ashes, adding, "if either India or England underestimate Australia because of their recent travails, they could well be punished."
The Australia-bound India players will fly directly after the IPL concludes on 10 November for the much-anticipated tour which is likely to begin with a T20 series followed by four Tests and ODIs.
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Hazlewood, playing his first T20 international in more than four years, took 1-23 from his four overs, including the wicket of dangerman Tom Banton, as Australia beat England by five wickets in Southampton on Tuesday