Praveen Kumar must get fit to tour Oz: Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell wants India to fly down injured seamer Praveen Kumar for at least two tests

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell says India must do everything possible to get Praveen Kumar fit for at least the final two Test matches against Australia in Perth and Adelaide. Speaking on the Channel Nine Cricket Show yesterday, Chappell stated the Australians' struggle against the new ball was clearly evident in their loss to New Zealand at Hobart on Monday.

Strike force: Praveen Kumar celebrates the wicket of England's Matt
Prior during the Lord's Test
last July. Pic/Getty Images

"It is there for everyone to see how much the Australia batsmen struggled against the swinging ball in this Test match. If I was in the Indian coaching staff, I would try to get a bowler like Praveen down to Australia even for the final two Tests," said Chappell.

Ian Chappell

He added: "I'm not sure what is wrong with Praveen, but if he has fractured ribs, I would ensure he keeps up his fitness and fly him down once he can start bowling. Praveen has the potential to trouble all the Australian batsmen with his ability to swing the ball both ways."

Umesh is impressive
Chappell who captained Australia in 30 Tests, also praised Indian's new pace sensation Umesh Yadav. "The name I would watch for in the squad is Yadav, I was really impressed with his pace and attitude during the West Indies series" The player-turned-commentator also believed that there were enough signs of Ishant Sharma returning to top form in the recent West Indies series.

Ishant, who troubled the Australians on the previous tour in 2007-08 with his steep bounce, is expected to be part of the pace attack that includes Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan. Chappell said: "I saw signs of Ishant regaining the form he showed on the last tour and if he can recapture that form, he will be quite a handful for the Australian batsmen" When asked to predict the score line of the series, Chappell said: "After watching the Australian batsmen against New Zealand in the second Test match, I can't see Australia beating India. I think the series will be drawn with both sides winning one Test each. India's bowlers need to perform at their best for them to win at least two Tests."

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