Infotainment Factory: The unpopular solution to Australia's woes

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

The unpopular solution to Australia's woes


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There’s no question about it.

Steve Smith and David Warner must be immediately reintroduced into the Australian Test squad come the conclusion of their year-long bans on March 29.

That’s the sentiment from former Australia Test captain Ian Chappell who has become disillusioned with the nation’s stocks after a string of shocking batting collapses meant Tim Paine’s men gave India their first Test win on Australian soil in the Border-Gavaskar series.

Australia has struggled to settle on a reliable top-order capable of scoring consistently since the events in Cape Town, that much is clear, and for Chappell it’s a matter of when, not if, the maligned duo should be reinstated atop the nation’s batting ranks.

Steve Smith and David Warner

“Steve Smith and David Warner have got to come back, no one could mount an argument for them not playing them,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive interview.

“They’ve been the best two batsmen in Australia for a while now and nothing has changed during this series.”

Meanwhile, Chappell reserved his support for Cameron Bancroft who, having served his nine-month ban, will be without Shield cricket experience under his belt before Australia faces Sri Lanka later this month.

“The hard part there is he’s not going to get the chance to play any Shield cricket before that series, so I think the sectors would like him to come back and get some runs there,” he said.

Bumrah bowls Handscomb

“So I think it’ll be hard for him to be considered for the Sri Lanka Tests.”

While Australia’s bowling cartel has been praised throughout the series, it was their leader Mitchell Starc who uncharacteristically struggled to find his best.

On Sunday, Australian fast bowling legend Mitchell Johnson called for Starc to be axed ahead of the Sri Lanka Tests, but Chappell was hesitant to jump the gun.

“I wouldn’t be dropping Mitchell Starc, I think he’s among the three best quickies in Australia,” he said.

“Everyone has their good days and their bad days but I don’t think he’s bowled too bad in this series.”

Paine says Starc low on confidence

Meanwhile, Chappell had nothing but praise for the manner in which Indian skipper Virat Kohli cultivated a winning mentality about the Indian Test squad and lauded the passion exhibited across the Border-Gavaskar series.

“Kohli I think more than just this series, I think his style of captaincy, the fact that he plays for a victory from ball number one – I think that’s been very important to India and their improvement,” he said.

“The fact that they're winning more games overseas now, I think quite a lot of that can go down to Kohli and his desire to win and his desire to have a good record for India overseas, I think that’s been really important to the Indian team.”

There’s no question about it.

Steve Smith and David Warner must be immediately reintroduced into the Australian Test squad come the conclusion of their year-long bans on March 29.

That’s the sentiment from former Australia Test captain Ian Chappell who has become disillusioned with the nation’s stocks after a string of shocking batting collapses meant Tim Paine’s men gave India their first Test win on Australian soil in the Border-Gavaskar series.

Australia has struggled to settle on a reliable top-order capable of scoring consistently since the events in Cape Town, that much is clear, and for Chappell it’s a matter of when, not if, the maligned duo should be reinstated atop the nation’s batting ranks.

Steve Smith and David Warner

“Steve Smith and David Warner have got to come back, no one could mount an argument for them not playing them,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports in an exclusive interview.

“They’ve been the best two batsmen in Australia for a while now and nothing has changed during this series.”

Meanwhile, Chappell reserved his support for Cameron Bancroft who, having served his nine-month ban, will be without Shield cricket experience under his belt before Australia faces Sri Lanka later this month.

“The hard part there is he’s not going to get the chance to play any Shield cricket before that series, so I think the sectors would like him to come back and get some runs there,” he said.

Bumrah bowls Handscomb

“So I think it’ll be hard for him to be considered for the Sri Lanka Tests.”

While Australia’s bowling cartel has been praised throughout the series, it was their leader Mitchell Starc who uncharacteristically struggled to find his best.

On Sunday, Australian fast bowling legend Mitchell Johnson called for Starc to be axed ahead of the Sri Lanka Tests, but Chappell was hesitant to jump the gun.

“I wouldn’t be dropping Mitchell Starc, I think he’s among the three best quickies in Australia,” he said.

“Everyone has their good days and their bad days but I don’t think he’s bowled too bad in this series.”

Paine says Starc low on confidence

Meanwhile, Chappell had nothing but praise for the manner in which Indian skipper Virat Kohli cultivated a winning mentality about the Indian Test squad and lauded the passion exhibited across the Border-Gavaskar series.

“Kohli I think more than just this series, I think his style of captaincy, the fact that he plays for a victory from ball number one – I think that’s been very important to India and their improvement,” he said.

“The fact that they're winning more games overseas now, I think quite a lot of that can go down to Kohli and his desire to win and his desire to have a good record for India overseas, I think that’s been really important to the Indian team.”

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