Ian Chappell and VVS Laxman full of praise for Mohit Sharma, criticise AB de Villiers' captaincy
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has said that the inclusion of right-arm pacer Mohit Sharma has made a huge difference to India’s bowling attack at the World Cup and that if they continue to put in impressive performances with the ball, like they have so far, they will be one of the favourites to win the title. The 26-year-old was added to the squad after Ishant Sharma failed to prove his fitness during the warm-ups.
Mohit Sharma’s consistency an asset
"Indian bowling was not consistent against Australia in Test series and then in the tri-series. They will bowl well and then they will have bad deliveries. They have now cut down on those bad deliveries. If India can continue bowling like this, they will be one of the favorites to win the World Cup," Chappell told NDTV.
"Indian bowling has been a huge difference in the World Cup as compared to Test series against Australia and the tri-series. Mohit Sharma has played a big part in this transformation. He has been a revelation," he added.
Chappell wasn‘t the only one to praise the Haryana pacer. Ex-Indian batsman VVS Laxman also complimented Mohit’s bowling, saying that he has been extremely consistent with his line and length and hasn’t tried to do anything extravagant.
"Mohit has a slower delivery also and he is very consistent. He made his bowling very simple by bowling wicket to wicket consistently and he does not easily give away those loose deliveries. MS Dhoni knows him well and used him in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings," Laxman said.
Captain AB de Villiers disappoints
Both Chappell and Laxman, however, were critical of the manner in which South African AB de Villers marshaled his troops against India on Sunday. While Chappell felt that the Proteas skipper didn't set attacking fields for his bowlers, Laxman didn't quite understand the thinking behind the 31-year-old bringing on a spinner into the attack in the ninth over of the Indian innings.
"South Africa have the potential to win the World Cup but I am disappointed with the captaincy of de Villiers. He brought in JP Duminy to bowl as early as ninth over. What kind of message he was sending while specialist bowlers likes Wayne Parnell are there. Some of his field placements were also questionable,” Laxman said.
Chappell said: "Whether AB de Villiers will be different from what Graeme Smith did (during his captaincy days), I don't think it will change from what I saw today.
"South Africa's game plan for a long time has been choking opposition batsmen of runs so that they commit a mistake while trying to do something different. But this approach is all right against small teams but not against good teams like India, you need to take wickets and be more aggressive.”