Ian Chappell, former Australian Captain believes India has a great opportunity to win the five Tests series in England this summer because of the home side's batting troubles. The three lions have been going through a phase where they seem to just not put together good, solid batting efforts with consistency and this, Chappell thinks, should give India huge hopes of winning their first series in the country since Rahul Dravid's men won there in 2007.
In his column for ESPN Cricinfo, Chappell has written, "There's a rare opportunity beckoning for India - the chance to beat both England and Australia in away Test series. England is in a state of flux after a devastating loss at Lord's and then a less-than-convincing win over the predictably inconsistent Pakistan at Headingley,"
He pointed out to the recent failures of Alastair Cook, who is perhaps in his last leg as a Test opener, when he wrote, "England's top-order collapses are now a regular occurrence, which is not surprising when both opening positions are under a cloud. If it weren't for the fact that Alastair Cook's numerous partners have been under intense scrutiny, Cook himself would be in jeopardy, Two classic Cook double-centuries can't mask the fact that in his last 29 Test innings - a period of 12 months - he has had 19 scores under 20, including ten single-figure dismissals. If an opener isn't making centuries regularly then he has to ensure the opposition doesn't get at the middle order while the ball is still new. Too often Cook is doing neither,"
England also picked Dom Bess as their spinner in the Pakistan Test series and other than his batting in the lower order, he looked far from an International cricketer with his off-spin for which he was primarily selected. Chappell says this is also good for India, "Smith's (Chairman of selectors Ed Smith) other notable choices in his selection debut was off-spinner Dom Bess, an energetic and effervescent cricketer. His batting and desire to be involved in the contest are laudable but the early signs are that his off-spin won't threaten an Indian team bred on facing this type of bowler regularly.
"In one over at Headingley, Bess delivered more full tosses than R Ashwin offers up in a year, a prospect that players like Virat Kohli and M Vijay should be relishing."
Chappell has been watching a lot of the current English team recently and he reiterates, "England's other major problem on the tour of Australia and New Zealand was that the pace attack comprised all right-arm bowlers of similar speed. Their inability to unearth a genuine pace bowler is a greater problem when they are overseas, but if the late UK summer is hot and dry, they will also need someone who can shake things up on home pitches in an attempt to dramatically change the course of a game,"
Alarmingly in these days' Test Cricket, when two incomplete teams compete, it is invariably the home team that wins the long Test series. England will still be starting as favourites, with Anderson and Broad doing very well at home but Chapell feels India should still be confident.
"There is no doubt that the swing bowling of Jimmy Anderson will present the Indian line-up with a serious challenge, and if there's movement off the seam, Stuart Broad will also be a handful. Nevertheless, India has the stronger batting line-up of the two teams and their variety in the attack could help negate England's middle-order strength if the openers continue to fail."