Ian Chappell urges selectors to see batting form instead of off-field personality for selecting Australia’s next Test opener

With Australia hunting for its next Test opener after David Warner’s retirement, Ian Chappell urged the selectors to focus on form with the bat, instead of off-field personality.

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) With Australia hunting for its next Test opener after David Warner’s retirement, legendary cricketer Ian Chappell urged the selectors to focus on form with the bat, instead of off-field personality.

His comments come in the light of the relationship between one of leading contenders, opener Cameron Bancroft and the Australia bowlers group, being not too good, especially in the aftermath of the 2018 sandpaper-gate scandal.

After being banned alongside Steven Smith and David Warner, Bancroft had suggested Australia’s bowlers knew about the condition of the ball being altered by him in the field, which was denied by the bowling quarter of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon in a joint statement.

“All I ever needed to know was can (the player) score 100, or can he get five wickets? And if the answer to that was yes, he was in the team. If there was a problem personality wise it was my job as a captain to make sure that worked. If you ask if I think personality has affected selection, I think it definitely has at different points,” said Chappell to Wide World of Sports.

Bancroft has been the leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield over the last two seasons, and last played for Australia in Tests since the 2019 Ashes Test against England at Lord’s.

Speaking of Bancroft and his relationship with the bowling group, Chappell feels that past happenings shouldn’t come in the way of his potential selection into the Australian Test team.

“You’ve really got to rely on Cameron Bancroft and the bowlers. I’m not there, I’m not part of the dressing room, and unless you’re part of the dressing room you’re not going to know that.”

“Firstly, if anybody thinks – as Steve Waugh suggested – that all 16 players in a touring party really like each other, then they believe in Santa Clause and the Easter bunny, because it just doesn’t happen. You’ve got 16 different personalities, some are going to get on and some aren’t.”

“All I ever asked as a captain was that people respect what I was doing. I didn’t expect invitations to their 21sts or their weddings. Some people obviously I got on well with. But the main thing was that they respected me and respected the decisions, and that included selection,” he concluded.

–IANS/nr/hs

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