Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes that “it’ll be best for the players if they play the first Test” against India in Brisbane on December 4.
However, following the tragic death of batsman Phillip Hughes, there have been doubts about whether the first Test will go ahead as planned.
But, Chappell believes it will be a fitting tribute to Hughes if the Australian team were to play the match in his honour.
“In a strange way I think it’ll be best for the players if they play the first Test,” Chappell said. “They’ll have to go to the practice nets, obviously, and when they’re in the practice nets, when they’re out on the field playing in the match, at least they’ll be concentrating on what they’ve got to do, how the cricket match is going.
“Because they know that every know that every moment they’re off the field, whether they’re in the hotel, whether they’re out or whether they’re in the dressing room, they’ll be thinking of only one thing and that’ll be Phillip Hughes. And so I think to get their mind off of that and to realise that as hard as it might seem, life has to go on, I think that’s the best way. They’re cricketers. Playing cricket is probably the best way for them to get back into that frame of mind that life has to go on.”
Chappell also feels that pace bowlers will now think twice about bowling bouncers “with their usual venom” since they will be thinking about what happened to Hughes.
“I’m sure the first bowler who bowls a bouncer, it won’t be the normal intent there,” Chappell said. “They’ll be bowling it thinking I’ve got to bowl a bouncer, but I hope like hell it doesn’t get up very high, I hope like hell it doesn’t hit someone. And after a couple, they’ll sort of get back into the swing of it.
“Batsmen – it’s probably a bit easier for the batsmen, strange as that may seem. Because they’re not going to be thinking about getting hit, they’re just going to be thinking about how they normally play a bouncer, whether they try to hook it or whether they avoid it, whatever they do, that’s what will be on their minds. It’s probably going to be tougher for the bowlers in a strange way than it will be for the batsmen.”