CRICKET great Ian Chappell has again gone on the front foot by claiming Australia’s batsmen will struggle in the Ashes series in England.
The highly-successful former Australian captain, in Adelaide yesterday to open the new $15 million sporting facility at Prince Alfred College, said England would win the series and retain the Ashes.
“I’m holding out hope Australia will win but it is not much hope,” Chappell said.
“England will win and I expect it to be comfortable.
“Our pace bowling is strong but they are ahead in spin and their batting is well ahead.
“This team will struggle, especially in England.”
Chappell said Australia did not have the batting strength to match England and he repeated his thoughts that the system was to blame.
He has long been offside with cricket officials over his claims that the lack of attention to problems with the batting production line were dragging Australia down.
“We are not producing batsmen like we used to and this area has not been addressed,” Chappell said.
The former champion batsman said early 20s used to be the normal debut age for batsman at international level but it was now the late 20s and even into the 30s. He has been vocal in his criticism of the rotation system and has publicly challenged the need to rest batsmen.
He has further questioned the policy to rest batsmen and then they play in the IPL.
The poor tour to India – Australia lost all four Tests – and the damage it has inflicted on the batsmen’s confidence will also impact on Australia’s chances in the Ashes in July and August, according to Chappell.
It was not just the problems on the field which annoyed Chappell, who also hit out at the Shane Watson drama being played out in the media and not behind closed doors.