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Ian Chappell - Australia a bit down on confidence

Ian Chappell on Chris Gayle's captaincy, Australia's struggle and West Indies' performance in the second Test (04:47)

December 8, 2009

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Australia v West Indies, 2nd Test, Adelaide

Ian Chappell - Australia a bit down on confidence

December 8, 2009

Alex Brown: Ian, first of all, what did you make of Chris Gayle's decision to bat the extra half hour today?

Ian Chappell: I wasn't surprised, I must admit. When you look at the West Indies' history, it is rather weak. But they keep blaming their closures, because that's what they do. They close their opposition out of the game, rather than declare. You go back to Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, they both did it; and they blame it on Gary Sobers' declaration in Trinidad in 1967-68 against England.

I suppose you can understand in this case a little better, because it is a team that hasn't won a lot. But when you haven't won a lot, and you get into an opportunity to win against Australia then you should really push it. I think that's probably the only mistake that Chris Gayle has made as a captain in the game. I think he had a very good game as a captain. He will probably be regretting now that he did not declare a bit earlier.

AB: Did it seem to you today, that we had two teams struggling for confidence? We saw West Indies batting for an extra half an hour and Australia really throwing the anchor out, probably after Ricky Ponting's dismissal.

IC: I was surprised how well, actually, West Indies handled the situation. Apart from the fact that they declared a little bit late. I was interested in seeing them bowl their team to victory, a situation they haven't been in a lot, and I thought they attacked with a reasonable amount of confidence.

So I think their confidence is growing. With all the injuries that they have had, and the fact that they seemed to have West Indies on the run a week ago and now they are the ones on the run, Australia are a bit down on confidence at the moment.

AB: Has it surprised you, the turn around from Brisbane to Adelaide for the West Indies?

IC: Well, Johnny Tapp once told me that it's the biggest boil over since Ajax, the one he used to use. I reckon this one will have to rank with it. It's a remarkable turnaround.

I was thinking at the start of the series that any Australian player, who got into the first Test side, was absolute bonus for them. Because they were probably going to get six Test matches without any drama at all. But suddenly there's got to be few queries about selection, some of the Australian players were struggling. A week ago, after Brisbane, there were no queries at all.

AB: Specifically, the Australians, who you are referring to - Michael Hussey has been quite scratchy with the bat all summer, is he among them?

IC: I think Hussey, because of the poor form in England, and the fact that his position was in question a little bit. He is one, Marcus North is another. You don't know what they are going to do with the bowling for Perth, if Hilfenhaus is fit. Doug Bollinger bowled quite well, suddenly he has gone from being a guy who is a replacement bowler to a guy who is now challenging for the spot. So, as I say, there are queries after Adelaide that you wouldn't even have thought about after Brisbane.

AB: You mentioned Chris Gayle before, and his captaincy. Can you just elaborate a bit on that and also his first century against Australia?

IC: I thought he played brilliantly, and the way he batted is not the way he normally bats. Centuries are much harder to get when you are playing out of your natural style, so his batting deserves a lot of praise. And also the fact that it has played a big part in his team's resurrection. But I think that two-hour spell he had on day three, when Australia were none for 174, I thought the game was about to get right out of hand for the West Indies. I thought his captaincy in the first session really changed the things around. I felt that most of his moves, his bowling changes, his field placings were good, and he had a good game as a captain.

AB: Finally, there has been a lot of talk before this Test that this could be a down scooter of a summer, do you envisage this Test enlivening it a little?

IC: I think this has revitalised interest for the game in Perth. Obviously, if the West Indies could have won it, in Adelaide, then it would have really made it dramatic for Perth.

Posted by Nipun on (December 10, 2009, 6:12 GMT)

What a wonderful TEST match.....but I guess someone was talking about introducing 3day tests...........

Posted by redneck on (December 9, 2009, 0:58 GMT)

i think gayle has to have silenced his critics after this test! i dont think he had any other option than to bat at the start of day 5. 300 on a day 5 pitch wouldnt have been easy to chase but far from impossible! i think the biggest delema for the aussies is not taking 20 wickets on pitches that dont help fast bowlers. hauritz has done a fine job abroad but finger spin is never going to take wickets or win matches in australian conditions. we need a wrist spinner to still be attacking the batsmen in the latter stages of the game!

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