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Greg Chappell at it again

Friday, March 09, 2022
Amol Karhadkar
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Adelaide: On a quiet Wednesday evening, the promotional event for Greg Chappell’s autobiography — Fierce Focus — was going according to the script at the Adelaide Writers’ Week till one of the 200-strong audience asked a question about Indian team’s apparent disinterest in Test cricket.

The one question set forth a tirade that few who heard it would forget, with overtones of racial prejudice and the spewing forth of convoluted views that were shaped during a tumultuous stint as India’s coach. Out went the anecdotes about his childhood days, he turned his attention on Indian cricket, and all that is wrong with the way the sport is played and administrated in the country.

He took his customary potshot at Saurav Ganguly, told why Virender Sehwag’s career won’t last much longer and even questioned the Indian psyche.

“It was obvious from the start of the tour that the Indians weren’t really interested in Test cricket. After the Australians showed that they were going to be a formidable foe, I was very disappointed in the Indians,” Chappell said. “And having worked with many of 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 is pretty tough for them. Without the kind of grounding that we (Australians) had as kids, Test cricket is too hard for them.”

He also said that the 33-year-old opener is closer to the end of his career than most would think. “Sehwag was never going to last as long as the other guys in any case because he was never fit enough.”

Chappell also said that his term as the India coach came to an abrupt end because of the attitude of the players. “At the end of the two-year period, I sat down with the administrators, who were quite keen for me to carry on. But when I quizzed them about their intentions, it was obvious that they weren’t going to call a day on a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid or a VVS Laxman,” he said.

“They wanted me to discipline the players. They wanted me to drop Sehwag when I wasn’t a selector. It wasn’t my responsibility. I mean, the difficulty for me as the coach was that Sehwag just sat there and said: “Greg, they’re not going to drop me. So why would I work harder than I’m working now?”

’FOCUS’ ON BOOK, GREG PLAYS DIRTY

In the publishing business, nothing sells like controversy and, when it comes to books on cricket, Team India is the best-seller. At the launch of his book, Fierce Focus, former India coach, GREG CHAPPELL not only ranted against Indian cricket but the country, too. Some of the talk bordered on racism

MIND GAMES

“Indian psyche is yet to be changed after being ruled by the British for 150 years.”

CAN’T BE LEADERS

“…it’s not a team culture. They are not trained to be leaders… their parents make all the decisions… their cricket coaches make the decisions.”

LYING LOW

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

BLAME THE BRITS

“The Poms taught them really well to keep their head down. For it someone was deemed to be responsible they’d get punished. So, the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility.”

HT Content & Syndication Services

 


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