Former Australia International and brother of former India Cricket team coach Greg Chappell- Ian Chappell, in a column for ESPNCricinfo was in all praise for the Indian Team and suggested ways how the Indian team can improve with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin being their primary bowler who is capable of playing in any given conditions. He personally chose three potential backups for India Vice-Captain Ajinkya Rahane in Tests, who has been out of his mojo since the Australia series. Rahane averages just 19.57 in the year 2021 with only two half-centuries to his credit.

Chappell has gone with the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya as backups to Rahane’s No.5 position.

“A middle order that reads Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Pandya and Ashwin should provide the runs expected of that section. With three fast bowlers to follow, the batting is then supported by a versatile attack. That’s the advantage of having a strong, well-balanced attack – you don’t need huge scores to chase victory.

“The other good point about that middle order is that it’s interchangeable. Skill-wise, Pant is the best batter of that lot. He’s capable of restraint when the situation demands, so he could easily handle No. 5, especially when India bat first. However if he’s had a long stint in the field, he could slide down the order to allow Jadeja to come in at five. Pandya also has the potential to handle No. 5, and given encouragement, he could fulfil the role.

Chappell is very confident that the combination of these three players would fit in any situations whether it’s chasing or setting a target and their acumen to accelerate the scoring rate is essential in the longest format of the game.

“Another attribute of that trio is their powerful strokeplay. The ability to accelerate the scoring rate is essential in Test cricket and those three are an ideal combination to take advantage of a good start to the innings. They are also a perfect fit for situations where the team is either chasing or setting a target,” he added.

At the same time Ian doesn’t deny the fact that if India decides to go beyond Rahane, then they would definitely miss the services of his strategic thinking and also his abilities of a fine fielder and tips Rohit Sharma to take over the vice-captaincy role.

“The only downside would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” he wrote.