Greg Chappell’s stint as India coach was riddled with controversy, and nine years after leaving the post, the Australian might have just started another by saying that Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than working hard. The 67-year-old also backed Anil Kumble to change this mindset.
Chappell coached India between 2005 and 2007, a period which is known for his difficult relationship with Indian greats Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rahul Dravid. During India’s dramatic hunt for the new coach this month, Chappell’s name once again came up with Ganguly saying that “there will be no mess up like with Chappell”.
But, the appointment of Kumble has seen both Ganguly and Chappell agreeing on one thing. In his column in the Hindu, the former Australian great welcomed the decision to appoint Kumble and backed the former leg-spinner to change the Indian mindset of “taking short-cuts rather than working hard”.
“Indian cricket has never reached the heights that it should because it has relied too much on natural ability and flair rather than diligent preparation. Too often in the past, Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than work hard so any success has been fleeting.
“It was something that I was appointed to change, but it needed key players, not least of all the captain, to buy-in and lead by example. Sadly, this didn’t happen until Dravid was appointed and the next 12 months brought some consistent success because of the change at the top.
“This has rarely happened in India’s cricket history, “the 67-year-old wrote.
“If they had been blessed to have been surrounded by other selfless individuals whose only aim was to serve the team, the Indian teams in which they played would have been impossible to beat.
“Kumble will bring these same assets to the role as coach. His is an inspired choice.
“I liked the look of Anil before I met him and was not disappointed when I got to know him. What you saw was what you got,” Chappell said in his column in the Hindu.
Too often in the past, Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than work hard so any success has been fleeting"
The Aussie also believes that Indian Test captain Virat Kohli is lucky to have Kumble as the coach and predicted the duo to form a great combination.
“In cricket, it is a joint venture off the field, but on the field, the captain must be the boss and must be seen as the boss by his players or his authority will be undermined.
“Anil knows this and will work closely with and support Virat without undermining him. Virat, on the other hand, will continue to be a good role model for his group as he works hard on all aspects of his game,” Chappell added.
However, Chappell went on to warn that the expectations surrounding Kumble’s appointment could become unrealistic unless he gets support from everyone.
“The level of expectation that has greeted Kumble’s appointment borders on unrealistic so, unless he gets the support of all of the key stakeholders, it may prove to be too much even for his indomitable spirit,” Chappell wrote in the Hindu.
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