Bengaluru: India’s recent 3-0 Test whitewash of South Africa has resulted in former Australian captain Ian Chappell describing the Virat Kohli-led side as “powerful opponent” thanks to the fast bowling riches they possess.
In the Freedom Series (Gandhi-Mandela Trophy) at home, India dominated the Proteas in all the three Tests. They collected 120 points in the ICC World Test Championship and remain on top of the table with 240 points.
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Chappell heaped praise on India’s fast bowlers for delivering in the three Tests against the Faf du Plessis-captained outfit.
“India has added a new dimension to their game with the fast bowlers — even minus Jasprit Bumrah — playing a huge part in a home victory. After years of planning and the advent of numerous academies, India has finally put together a group of fast bowlers who allow them to compete anywhere in the cricket world,” 76-year-old Chappell wrote in espncricinfo website.
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“Bumrah, when fit, the indefatigable Mohammed Shami, the vastly improved Ishant Sharma, and the pacy Umesh Yadav give India a quartet of fast bowlers that demand respect in all conditions. These pace spearheads, added to India's always capable spinners, give the attack a potency that not too many other countries can match,” Chappell, who played 75 Tests and 16 ODIs, added.
The Australian thinks India will remain a “powerful opponent” for “the indefinite future”.
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“With an enormous talent pool, young players gaining experience from mixing with international stars in the IPL, and the right selections, India should remain a powerful opponent for the indefinite future,” he opined.
Chappell also lauded Kohli by saying, “The other factor in India's ascent has been the shining example set by their captain, Virat Kohli. Always a player who wanted to perform well in all conditions, Kohli's desire for excellence has rubbed off on his team-mates and the whole side has the common goal of wanting to be the best.”
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India next host Bangladesh for three T20Is and two Tests. Kohli has been rested for the T20Is which start on November 3. In his absence, Rohit Sharma will captain the side. There is no Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the series.