Chappell slams Australian sweep ploy says need to have good footwork

New Delhi: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell says employing the sweep shot is the not the only way to survive against spinners on the Indian pitches, where good footwork is a must for success.

Australia’s predetermined sweep ploy to tackle Indian spinners failed miserably as the hosts retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after taking a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

“Sweeping regularly is not the answer to playing good spin bowling, and anyone who says so is talking through his hat,” Chappell wrote in his column for

“The odd player is very good at sweeping and should utilise the shot, but for the majority there are better ways. Any good spin bowler who makes the ball bounce is likely to expose the dangers in sweeping constantly.”

Australia prepared on special scarified pitches in Sydney and chose not to play a single tour game in India for the gruelling month-long series. “You don’t discover how to play good spin bowling later in life on a scarified Australian pitch just prior to a vital tour of India.

“You have to learn good footwork — coming three paces out of your crease or retreating quickly onto the back foot — at a young age,” he wrote. The Australian legend feels Pat Cummins and Co. erred in forming their batting strategy in the build up to the series.

“It should have been obvious in Australia’s build-up what kinds of batting strategies needed to be used in India.

“The most beneficial are to watch the ball closely, more so than in Australia, and that there is a fraction more time than you think,” he wrote.

“Selectors can be fooled into thinking that playing spin bowling well in Australia automatically means success will follow on Indian pitches. “That isn’t so but if the method in Australia is a sound one, selectors should assume it could lead to success in India. Once a batter understands about the extra time on slightly slower Indian pitches, he can work the ball into a gap to collect precious runs. Those runs, especially early in an innings, when survival is treacherous, can frustrate even the best spinners.”

Australia will face India in the third Test from Wednesday in Indore. The fourth and final Test is slated from March 9 in Ahmedabad.


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