Test cricket is considered the most difficult format among the three. Experts opine that red ball games are the truest form of cricket and a challenging character examination. Moreover, they also believe that it’s only the bowlers who can win their side a test match since it involves bundling the opposition, else the contest could end in a draw.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell recently, in an interview, named his top five best bowlers out of the current lot in the longest format of the game. Chappell went with Australian speedster Pat Cummins as his first choice. The 77-year-old asserted that Cummins didn’t lose hope in the fourth Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21 against India. Even though the home team was on the brink of losing the match, Cummins used his tactics of bowling short deliveries when other Aussie bowlers had given up.
“If you want me to pick one out of these five as the best then I think for everything that he contributes I have to go with Pat Cummins. The example I would cite was the last Test against India at the Gabba when Australia produced that ridiculous tactic of bowling bouncers for an hour. Mitchell Starc was shocked to pieces he had nothing to come up with but somehow or the other Cummins gave everything he had in the last hour. I have the good fortune to captain Dennis Lillee and Dennis was always the last guy in our team who thought victory was impossible and I put Pat Cummins in that same category,” Chappell told ESPNcricinfo.
The Adelaide-born next chose India’s paceman Ishant Sharma. On being asked why he snubbed England’s veteran swing bowler James Anderson, Chappell pointed out that Anderson hadn’t played much cricket in the past few years due to injuries. Hence, he preferred Ishant over Anderson.
“Ishant’s record if I see since looking at his stats since 2018, his record is extremely good. But if you narrow it down to best swing bowler and probably the best swing bowler of all time then I would say Jimmy Anderson as number 1. But Jimmy hasn’t played a lot, he has a lot of injuries. When he is playing he is very good but he has missed a lot of cricket and that’s probably the only reason,” Chappell divulged.
The vetran cricket analyst selected India’s spinner Ravichandran Ashwin over Australia’s tweaker Nathan Lyon. Chappell reckoned that Lyon usually leaks many runs on the onside when bowling to right-handers, which shouldn’t be the case.
“I think Ashwin is a better bowler than Nathan Lyon. Have a look at Nathan Lyon’s strike rate, you are talking in the 70s and I am going back to 2018. I think runs get scored through the onside when he [Lyon] is bowling to the right-handers and that really just shouldn’t happen. Yes, he is a fine bowler but I think Ashwin is a better bowler,” Chappell enunciated.
Chappell had South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada and India’s Mohammed Shami in mind as the next two bowlers.
Chappell also lauded Team India for having a good reserve of pacers who could replace and chip in when the side needed them the most.