Chappell attacks Indian cricket team

Chappell attacks Indian cricket team

By: || Updated: 01 Jan 1970 12:00 AM


Adelaide: In
a vicious attack on Indian culture and Indian team, of which he was the
coach, Greg Chappell has said that the side lacked leaders because
parents, school teachers and coaches made all the decisions in the Indian
system.

"The (Indian) culture is very different; it's not a team
culture. They lack leaders in the team because they are not trained to be
leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions, their
schoolteachers make their decisions, their cricket coaches make the
decisions," Chappell said.

"The culture of India is such that if
you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head
off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility.

"The
Poms (British) taught them really well to keep their head down. For if
someone was deemed to be responsible, they'd get punished. So the Indians
have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for
any decisions, they prefer not to," Chappell was quoted as saying by a
website at a promotional event for his book 'Fierce Focus'.

Chappell
said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was an exception to that rule but
even he seems to have lost to the system.

"Dhoni is one of the
most impressive young men that I have ever worked with. When he came into
that Indian team, you just knew that he was a leader in the making. He was
definitely someone who could make decisions, and he didn't mind putting
his head above the parapet, and didn't mind putting the bigger players in
their place. I think he is the best thing to have happened to Indian
cricket in recent times," he said.

Chappell, who was the coach of
Indian team for two turbulent years from 2005 to 2007, reckoned that
excessive cricket has now started taking a toll on Dhoni.

"But
looking at him on this tour - I didn't meet or speak to him at all - but
just watching the body language and just watching him on the field, it
wasn't the MS Dhoni that I knew. I think Indian cricket has worn him down
as well.

"Especially captaining all three formats, and India
plays about 50 per cent more cricket than Australia does. And Dhoni played
four years, captaining three years while being wicketkeeper and their key
batman - one of the best chasers of a target that I've ever seen," he
said.

The former Australian captain also said that the Indians
appeared disintersted in Test cricket during the just-concluded disastrous
tour Down Under.

"It was obvious from the start of the tour that
the Indians weren't really interested in Test cricket," Chappell said.
"After the Australians showed that they were going to be a formidable foe,
I was very disappointed with the Indians.

"And having worked with
many of them and having been in the dressing room with them, Test cricket
was too hard for most of them. They can only make a lot of money playing
20-over cricket. Fifty-over cricket they can sort of put up with.

"Test
cricket for a lot of, not only India, a lot of subcontinent teams, I think
it's pretty tough. And the challenge for Test cricket is, without the sort
of grounding that we (Australians) had as kids, Test cricket is too hard.
It's very demanding mentally, physically and emotionally," he added.

Chappell
also felt that Virender Sehwag's captaincy ambition hurt the team.

"Sehwag
thought he should be captain after (Anil) Kumble, so there is a bit of a
collision there," he said.

"I think Dhoni is getting to a point
where Test cricket is getting too hard for him, and the undercurrent
around the dressing room cannot help," Chappell opined.

He was
also of the view that Test cricket needed a strong India.

"I
think Australia and England will always look at Test cricket and try and
preserve it. South Africa to a lesser degree. Up until this summer, I
thought India as well. We probably had four major Test-playing countries,
and the others would play Test cricket spasmodically," Chappell concluded.






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