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‘India have the best young batsmen’

Ian Chappell

New Delhi: Effusive in his praise for the Indian batsmen, former Australia captain Ian Chappell has said that the side is currently producing “by far the best” crop of young talented cricketers.

“India is producing by far the best young batsmen currently, and in addition to (Shikhar) Dhawan, (Virat) Kohli, (Cheteshwar) Pujara and Rohit Sharma, Unmukt Chand is one for the future,” Chappell said.

The Australian legend said he was impressed with the attacking flair of Dhawan, who, he felt could be a valuable addition to any side.

“I really like the look of Shikhar Dhawan. He’s a talented, aggressive opener, and if successful, will be extremely valuable to a team,” the 70-year-old said.

With the ICC World Cup just 13 months away, Chappell said teams have already set their sights on the showpiece event, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

“Teams are always playing their ODI matches with an eye on the next World Cup. Given they will be playing at home, Australia are looking like a strong contender at the moment,” Chappell, who played 75 Tests and 15 ODIs for Australia in his 16-year-long illustrious career, said.

Chappell, known to speak his mind on cricket administration, said the ICC’s move to test the Officiating Replay System (ORS) to better the controversial DRS won’t help.

“I’m like a lot of the players… I don’t trust many aspects of either system. I’d change many aspects of the system but my first change would be to take it out of the players’ hands,” he said.

“I’m not a big fan of the system at all.”

Asked about his favourite performances of the year 2013, Chappell said he enjoyed the counter-attacking skills of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Brad Haddin in particular.

“As a fan of counter-attacking cricket, I enjoyed the efforts of Dhoni in scoring his double-century by attacking the Australian bowling (in February in Chennai), and Haddin, where he scored half-centuries in the first innings of all Ashes Tests when his team was in deep trouble,” he said.

It may be recalled that only a few months back Chappell had described Virat Kohli as the "prince" of Indian cricket and said that the youngster would go on to break Sachin Tendulkar's records.

"He (Kohli) is now set to take over not only Tendulkar's coveted No. 4 spot but also his mantle as the Indian player opponents most want out…" Chappell had said.

Chappell had also said that the Australian bowlers might have been relieved at the news of Tendulkar's retirement but their joy would be short lived as Kohli has arrived and will be a handful for them.