Straight-talking former Australian captain Ian Chappell is happy that one year ban won’t allow Steve Smith and David Warner to take part in the series against India Down Under as it would have exposed the disgraced duo to heavy duty “booing” from the home crowd.
Cricket Australia banned the former skipper and his deputy from international cricket for one year for their involvement in ball tampering controversy in South Africa.
India are set to play four Tests and a limited overs series in Australia starting from last week of November.
“Cricket Australia got it right. They have done Smith and Warner a big favour. Because imagine if Smith and Warner are playing next summer in Australia against India, they are going to get booed at some of the Australian grounds, probably all of Australian grounds,” Chappell, who is not known to to mince words told reporters during a promotional event.
Chappell feels that worst thing in his country is being called a “cheat”.
“But the worst name you can have in Australia is being a cheat. So they (would have) got booed, which would not have done a lot for their confidence but also would not have done a lot for the image of the game,” the former skipper tried to put things into perspective.
“When you have got a former Australia captain and vice captain being booed by their own crowds, that wouldn’t have been great for Cricket Australia’s image,” Chappell opined.
“So I think it is better that they (Smith and Warner) are not playing next summer, better for the players, better for Cricket Australia’s image. It would be (in any case) hard for them to come back from (it),” the 74-year-old former cricketer said.
‘Warner gone for good’
Chappell also felt that Warner will not play for Australia again for his alleged role in the pay dispute.
“They have been looking for a reason to get rid of Warner because he was outspoken during the (pay) dispute. So he may not be back. Smith will be back but he may not captain Australia again,” Chappell said.
With no Smith and Warner around, this is India’s best chance to win a Test series in Australia in 70 years, having first toured the nation in 1948.
“I will predict an Indian victory in the Test series (in Australia). I don’t know (whether) India will win comfortably but India will win. Certainly this is India’s best opportunity ever to win a series in Australia. Australia still will be hard to beat because they have got a very good bowling attack,” Chappell told reporters during a promotional event in Mumbai.
“If you have a good bowling attack, that’s the hardest part of the game. To get 20 wickets. Australian bowling attack will have to think like former West Indies legend Andy Roberts. Andy used to say that ‘it doesn’t matter what the opposition bowls out us at, we will bowl out them for less’. The Australian bowling attack will do well to think along those lines,” he added.
Chappell said that the Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli possess identically aggressive mindset required for a coach-captain combination to work well.
“Ravi is the right person to be with Kohli. Kohli is a pretty aggressive thinker on his own but Ravi is also aggressive. As a captain (during his limited tenure in ODIs and single Test), Ravi used to be an aggressive thinker. His thoughts were aggressive and winning about the game, and Kohli is very much in that mould. Ravi is the perfect guy to combine with Kohli,” he added.
Chappell however also clarified that Sourav Ganguly’s latest book ‘A Century Is Not Enough’ has “inaccurate facts” attributed in his name.
In Ganguly’s semi-autobiographical book, there is a reference that the oldest of the Chappell brothers had suggested former BCCI president late Jagmohan Dalmiya against appointing his younger brother Greg as India’s head coach back in 2005.
Asked about it, Chappell’s curt reply was “Historically inaccurate (fact), not correct”.