India-Australia ODI series meaningless, badly timed: Ian Chappell

Press Trust of India Posted online: Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Coming down heavily on Cricket Australia for agreeing to the upcoming ODI series against India, former captain Ian Chappell said the “badly timed” matches will dent the team’s morale by exposing its “glaring” batting frailties on spin-friendly tracks here. India and Australia will clash in a Twenty20 and seven ODIs starting October 10 in Rajkot. Chappell said the entire series has been planned just for money.

“Agreeing to this meaningless ODI tour of India so close to an Ashes series is evidence that Cricket Australia is more concerned with dollars than sense,” Chappell wrote in ‘ESPN Cricinfo’. “Australia’s mounting Test losses not only hurt in the record book but have also shredded the team’s aura... Australia’s weakness in this bleak period has been batting in general, and coping with good spin bowling in particular,” he explained.

In the absence of injured skipper Michael Clarke, Chappell said Australia would be all the more vulnerable against an Indian team, which dominates on home turf. “The glaring batting weakness will be exacerbated in India by the absence of Michael Clarke, easily the best player of spin in the Australian side. Australia are at risk of again losing in India,” he said.

“While few from the ODI team will be in contention for the Test side, a demoralising loss on the eve of an Ashes series won’t help Australian morale, while it will boost England’s outlook,” he added. Chappell said the series will also make it more challenging for the Australian selectors to pick the right squad for the Ashes next month.

“Normally at this time they would be gauging batting candidates for the No. 6 position in the Test side based on their domestic first-class form. Now they’ll feel obliged to take into account any contenders who put up good performances on the tour of India.