Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni must pick specialist spinner Axar Patel over “bits and pieces” player Ravindra Jadeja in the team’s second cricket World Cup game against South Africa here tomorrow.
Chappell goes on to say that India should beat South Africa if they repeat their clinical performance of their tournament opener against Pakistan in Adelaide. For the record, India have never won against the Proteas in three World Cup meetings.
“India should play with their usual top six and pick the best bowling attack. They also need to bring in Patel for Jadeja, who to me is a bits and pieces cricketer. To win games in this competition, teams would have to take wickets in the midddle overs and that is where Patel can come handy,” Chappell told.
Jadeja was preferred over Patel for the Pakistan game. South Africa have a 7-2 win-loss record at MCG, the best by a visiting team.
Chappell said South Africa’s enviable record against India as well as at the ‘G’ would not play into the opposition mind and he expects the pitch to behave similar to the one at Adelaide.
“The pitch should not pose too much of a problem for the Indian batsmen. The good thing for India is that Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina are back amongst the runs, Kohli (Virat) remains the key and he is in good form. Now what India need is good captaincy from Dhoni and a big innings by Rohit Sharma,” said Chappell.
The match is being billed as the battle between India’s batsmen and South African pace attack led by Dale Steyn. However, Chappell has a view of his own.