Take cue from Australia in mid 1980s January 4, 2008

It's time India thought of the future - Waugh

Steve Waugh on Sourav Ganguly: "It's tremendous the way he's come back. He's playing better than I've ever seen him play" © Getty Images

Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain, feels Greg Chappell couldn't succeed as India's coach because of the selectors' lack of patience. Waugh feels India need to focus on the future, concentrating on building a team like Australia did in the mid 1980s.

"The toughest job for an India coach is to deal with what the selectors in the country want," said Waugh on the morning of the third day's play at the SCG. "If you're trying to build something for the future you don't have time to put things in place. I think in some ways the problem in India is patience, or the lack of patience.

"[It was the same] with Australia in the 1980s, when they lost four or five players. They picked a core group of people, believed in them and sorted out the tough times. I think the Indian selectors will understand that it's time to think of the future."

Waugh was referring to the bunch of senior Indian players whose age has been a talking point for a few months now. "We've learnt a lot from the Australian players," he said about older players making way. "I think fitness is the issue. If you're strong and fit, age really is irrelevant. These days players are much better looked after, there's good maintenance, and good fitness programmes. Thirty five today is like 30 fifteen years ago. I can't see why players can't play till they're 40. The issue will be if they can stay away from their families."

Waugh shared a particularly spicy relationship with one of those senior players, Sourav Ganguly, but he spoke highly of Ganguly's comeback. "We've met a few times after he retired. I respect him as a player. We had some issues on the field but that's all part of the game. But it's tremendous the way he's come back. He's playing better than I've ever seen him play."

Waugh's name was doing the rounds when India was looking for Chappell's successor but he wasn't keen on a coaching role just yet. "I really enjoy the role of mentoring, if it's a possibility. But [job of a] coach, selector etc, I don't get time for. I wasn't asked by the BCCI for coaching. I consider offers but as of now coaching is not on my radar."

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo