They may be numero uno for now but former Australian captain Ian Chappell says India do not have the bowling strength to stay at the top of International Cricket Council’s Test rankings on a long-term basis.
“I don’t think great teams are built on opening batting partnerships. But to me, there is a far more important thing, and this is one reason why I don’t rate India as a long-term No.1,” Chappell told Cricinfo.
“I think you have got to have two champion bowlers in your line-up to be a long-term successful cricket team. That is where India is falling down at the moment,” he pointed out.
Chappell said Indians do not even have one champion bowler in their line-up.
“When I look at the averages and the strike-rates for India in the last 12 months, I don’t see two champion bowlers. In fact, I am struggling to find one champion bowler in that line-up.
“They’ve got some good bowlers. Sure, they have got a very good batting line-up, but the bowling is really not good enough to see them win consistently all around the world,” he said.
Out of the 20 Tests India have played in the past two years, they have won nine and lost three. Three of the wins have come against Australia but Chappell said those triumphs were after the Aussies lost stalwarts like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist.
“I would have thought it was a greater achievement if they had caught up with Australia while Australia was still very much a great side, rather than waiting for Australia to come back to the field,” Chappell said.
“That to me has been the disappointing thing. It seems to me that the other teams have almost thrown their hands and said that ‘it’s hard to beat them, we will just wait for them to fall back and then we will catch them’,” he added.