Melbourne [Australia], June 7 (ANI): Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell has said that India will benefit a lot in the series against Australia if the side picks Hardik Pandya in their squad.
India and Australia are slated to play a four-match Test series later this year, beginning at Brisbane from December 3.
"Assuming India have a full-strength squad, the touring selectors have a crucial role to play. It will help if Hardik Pandya is available. He gives India an extra bowling option to maintain the pressure when the leading fast bowlers need a rest," ESPNCricinfo quoted Chappell as saying.
"This is Pandya's chance to gradually build up overs in the three Tests before the SCG match, where he could act as the third seamer so that a second spinner can be included. Having Pandya at seven would necessitate Rishabh Pant keeping and batting at six," he added.
Pandya had last played a Test match in 2018 and he was out of cricketing action due to a back injury.
Chappell also said that choosing a spinner may become a headache for the side and the management would be required to play one spinner from Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav.
"Choosing a spinner will prove a major headache for the Indian selectors. R Ashwin has a great overall record, but not so much in Australia. Ravindra Jadeja's all-round talents and improved bowling form make him a legitimate challenger, while Kuldeep Yadav's wrist-spin is the biggest wicket-taking threat on Australian pitches. The decision will call for brave selections," Chappell said.
During 2018-19, India managed to defeat Australia in Australia for the first time in a Test series.
During the 2018-19 series, Australia was without the services of David Warner and Steve Smith as the duo was facing a one-year ban for their role in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa.
In 2019, the duo staged a comeback into the Australian lineup, and the Australian side also has Marnus Labuschagne, who had a brilliant 2019-20 season.
Earlier this year, Australia displaced India as the number one team in the ICC Test rankings.
In the World Test Championship (WTC) standings, India is at the pole position while Australia is placed second.
India and Australia will play four Tests and the matches will be played at Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
The match at Adelaide will be a day-night Test. (ANI)