Ian Chappell says 'Australia hold good chances of winning series if Clarke continues to outwit Smith'
Cricket legend Ian Chappell believes Australian captain Michael Clarke holds the advantage over Proteas' team leader Graeme Smith in the upcoming Adelaide Test on November 22.
According to Chappell's column in News.com.au, the former cricketer says Michael Clarke's brilliant double-century led to Australia's great Gabba turnaround, which now has his team lining up in Adelaide with the psychological advantage.
"Clarke is a captain who tries to win from ball one and his positive approach sends a strong message to not only his own team but the opposition. When a captain is doing everything in his power to win, it galvanises his team and prompts the match-winners to lift their effort at crucial times," Chappell wrote.
"Such was Clarke's inspirational leadership that Australia overcame a lacklustre bowling effort on the opening day and a top-order collapse in their first innings to finish all over the South Africans," he added.
Chappell said while Adelaide Oval is a good batting pitch for the first three days, "unusual things can happen late in the game. The second Ashes Test victory in 2006-07, when Shane Warne led a final day heist that saw Australia produce an unlikely win, is a classic example."
He also said that James Pattinson's combination with Peter Siddle on the Adelaide pitch, under the guidance of an intuitive captain like Clarke, would be big plus for Australia, adding that "if Clarke continues to outwit Smith, Australia have the better chance of winning in Adelaide."
However, Chappell outlined that "Australia still have to solidify the top of the order, as the middle order can't keep on retrieving the situation after the loss of early wickets."