Australia is a slight favorite for the WTC finals, but don’t underestimate the importance of preparing for the IPL: Ian Chappell

Shreyas Iyer and K.L. Rahul are two other Indian players who dropped out of the June 7-11 final tournament due to injuries.

Chappell also said that injury-prone Hardik Pandya, who does not play red ball cricket, is also hurting India. Hardik last played in the first grade in 2018.

Injuries to Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabha Pant are hitting India hard, as they would be clear favorites with these two players.

Hardik Pandya’s somewhat unexpected absence also hurts India, as he could be the last piece of the puzzle for them, Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.

Most Indian players make it to the finals after two months in the IPL, but Chappell believes it might not have a negative impact on them.

As it should be, this match is hard to predict. Mostly because of injuries and the fact that neither team has played any tests since the conclusion of a tight series earlier this year.

Making things even more difficult is the fact that many of the players involved have only participated in the IPL in the run-up to this one Test.

While this may not seem like ideal preparation, it is worth recalling the opinion of former England batsman Ravi Bopara. Bopara went from the novice IPL to a Test series against the West Indies in 2009 and believes he was perfectly prepared because T20 got him moving and set him up positively, he said, referring to Bopara’s consecutive hundreds in the Caribbean.

Chappell also believes Australia’s pace attack is ahead of India’s, while the Rohit Sharma-led team has the advantage in the spin department.

If Australia’s trio of classy tempo players Pat Cummins, Mitchell Stark and Josh Hazlewood are available, that would make them slight favorites. They are good bowlers at any time, but England in early June should be to their liking.

However, the Indian pace attack including Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav is also strong and only slightly behind the Australian trio in their ability to take wickets.

Mental strength will play a key role in the only test, the former Australian captain said.

The team that shows the most resilience is likely to win, unless bad weather affects the contest. The ability to keep a decent line and length in attack is now a must in the more difficult series, and a completely healthyhe Australian attack should be beneficial if the opposition is overzealous, Chappell said.

So a lot will depend on how the batters handle the opponent’s talented tempo attacks. Australia relies heavily on Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Ousmane Khawaja to score big, but the enigmatic David Warner should not be overlooked.

On the Indian side, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are a danger because of their success in Test cricket. They will have a tough time against a strong Australian attack.

Australian bowlers should also pay close attention to Shubman Gill. He tends to play without fear and has a mentality that won’t change even in this momentous event.

Given the conditions, he said Australia is a slight favorite.

Since the match is in English conditions, this favors the strong Australian tempo attack a bit. However, as Bopara showed, never underestimate the importance of IPL preparation for batters.

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