Ian Chappell has stated that India are one of the few teams in the world of cricket that have enough skilled pacers to meet modern-day challenges. He also cited how Australian pacers were completely burned out in the final stages of the series against India after playing all the Tests.
From being known for producing world-class batsmen, there has been a tectonic shift in India's image, at least in Test cricket, where they are producing better bowlers while their batting has often been under the scanner. In the Australia series, earlier this year, the second-string pacers - Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan - all impressed with their glittering performances and showed the world how solid India's bench strength is in terms of pacers. Not to forget, it's the quartet of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who actually made India's pace attack one of the best in the world in the first place and now, to along with them, there's a great pool of pacers in the country.
Prominent cricket expert Ian Chappell reflected on how modern cricketers are better paid in comparison to players from the previous century but wasn't oblivious of the toll that the cramped schedule has taken on the players. He cited the example of Australian pacers and how burned out they were by the time closing phases of the much-talked about India series approached.
"The modern cricketer is substantially better rewarded than players of the previous century. However, like with all such things in life, there is a downside involved. This comes in the form of the numerous adjustments to be made because of the extra formats that are now played and the resultant crowding of the schedule," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
"This was highlighted in the last Australia-India series, where the home side used the same fast-bowling trio in all four Tests. As the Australian pace bowlers wore down in the final stages of the series, their Indian counterparts may have caught a break as injuries meant they had to constantly change personnel. India is one of the few teams who have enough skilled quick bowlers in reserve to meet the challenges of the schedule and still remain competitive," he added.
Ever since the global pandemic has struck the world, life of cricketers has turned tougher with the introduction of secure bio-bubbles, quarantine restrictions and frequent COVID-19 tests. Chappell is well aware that all these things taking a toll on the mental health of the players, especially the pacers, who are already the most physically challenged in terms of the workload.
"The Covid-ravaged world has meant cricketers spend extended periods in bubbles, which challenges their skills and their mental health. It has also resulted in scheduling that has Test matches crammed together, which is physically and mentally demanding, especially for the fast bowlers."