File photo of Indian batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. (AFP)
New Delhi: Effusive in his praise for the Indian batsmen, former Australia captain Ian Chappell has said that the side is currently producing "by far the best" crop of young talented batsmen.
"India is producing by far the best young batsmen currently, and in addition to [Shikhar] Dhawan, [Virat] Kohli, [Cheteshwar] Pujara and Rohit Sharma, Unmukt Chand is one for the future," Chappell told PTI in an interview.
The Australian great said he was impressed with the attacking flare of the Indian opener Dhawan, who, he felt could be a valuable addition to any side. "I really like the look of Shikhar Dhawan. He's a talented, aggressive opener and if successful they're extremely valuable to a team," the 70-year-old said.
With the ICC World Cup just 13 months away, Chappell said teams have already set their sight at the marquee event, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
"Teams are always playing their ODI matches with an eye on the next World Cup. Given they will be playing at home, Australia is looking like a strong contender at the moment," Chappell, who played 75 Tests and 15 ODIs for Australia in his 16-year illustrious career, said.
The veteran is a part of the jury panel that would decide on the seventh annual 2013 ESPNcricinfo Awards for best cricket performers and performances in the year gone by. Asked about his favourite performances of the year 2013, Chappell said he enjoyed the counter-attacking skills of India captain MS Dhoni and Brad Haddin in particular.
"As a fan of counter-attacking cricket, I enjoyed the efforts of Dhoni in scoring his double-century by attacking the Australian bowling [in February in Chennai], and Haddin in every Ashes Test, where he scored half-centuries in the first innings of all Tests when his team was in deep trouble," he said without divulging his pick for the awards to be given in four categories - batting and bowling performances in ODIs as well as Test cricket.
Asked about the favourite moment on the ground for cricket fans, Chappell said, "It depends where the fan is from. For instance, the English fan would have felt first joy and then sadness. The Australian fan, on the other hand, would've felt first sadness and then joy."