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'Dhoni's method was and is unique' - Chappell

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 6, 2013

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MS Dhoni lofts over the off side, India v Australia, Champions Trophy warm-up, Cardiff, June 4, 2013
Greg Chappell on MS Dhoni: "If he thought he could do something, he would go ahead and say he could do it." © AFP
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Greg Chappell, the former India coach, has praised MS Dhoni, saying the current India captain had supreme confidence in his skills and had harboured no doubts about his ability to play cricket at the international level.

Dhoni made his ODI debut for India in 2004 but made his Test debut in 2005, while Chappell was coach of the team. "His reading of the game was incredible. He had a calmness and an inner strength which wasn't something I had seen a lot of in other cricketers," Chappell told the Indian Express. "He was very confident. He wasn't cocky but there wasn't any false modesty either. If he thought he could do something, he would go ahead and say he could do it.

"Both in India and Australia you have a lot of players who are afraid to stand up because they feel they might be thought of as being ahead of themselves or setting themselves up for failure. He had no concerns about that. He was supremely confident in his own ability. He had some work to do with his wicketkeeping but you could see he had the basics. I saw him as far more than a one-day cricketer. I could see him as a Test cricketer. And I could certainly see him as a captain."

Chappell credited Dhoni's success as a leader to the his ability to connect with the seniors and youngsters in the team. "His ability in the Indian dressing room to move between the seniors and the juniors was unique. There was nobody else I saw that could compare," Chappell said. "Even some of the seniors struggled with other seniors. Not just physical strength but also an emotional strength … a spiritual strength. He knew who he was. He didn't have any doubts about his ability to play at that level."

Chappell recounted a session he had with the Indian players shortly after he took over as coach: "It was an amazing story of where he [Dhoni] had come from and how he had learned his cricket playing on the streets with his friends, and at each level how he had to prove himself again because each time he came in he was the new boy. He talked very well about how each of those steps had given him something. Some confidence, some experience, some knowledge."

Chappell also said Dhoni's confidence in his abilities and his unique approach to the game had helped him deal with pressures and failure in cricket. "This game is about dealing with failure. Bradman batted 80 times in Test cricket and he only got 29 hundreds. So he failed 51 times. The rest of us have had a huge struggle," Chappell said. "It's only those who accept that they are going to fail a lot and have a belief that their method will work, who will be able to keep at it. Dhoni's method was and is unique. Not many people play like him, but he has immense confidence in it. And that's all that really matters."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by android_user on (October 18, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

someone has to take the blame of world cup 2007. it is forced on Greg. that's it. away record in his reign is too good. chasing is immortal. one failure bring all the politics inside.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 9, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Indian cricket went to number 1 side in tests and could not stay there. A process that started with Ganguly and then passed onto to Dhoni. Our biggest fault is that we did not match the other teams in the pace bowling department and with games played in NZ, ENG, SA, AUST we needed to match teams. We can work out our way in the spin and batting dept - but not in the pace. Bowling fast and accurately is missing by our pacers like Ishant, Yadav and Aaron.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Indian cricket went to number 1 side in tests and could not stay there. A process that started with Ganguly and then passed onto to Dhoni. Our biggest fault is that we did not match the other teams in the pace bowling department and with games played in NZ, ENG, SA, AUST we needed to match teams. We can work out our way in the spin and batting dept - but not in the pace. Bowling fast and accurately is missing by our pacers like Ishant, Yadav and Aaron.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Here is what Chappell did. 1) He removed Dada by creating controversy. He wanted to show that he can even take care of captain, and made every other player feerfull. 2) He suggested that Sachin should retire, that way team will be more week. 3) The whole team was afraid of him and he was able to create uncertainty and environment of untrust. No one was calm. 4) The only guys who were performing, the that had did not care attitude (Shewag, Dhoni)....

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

also the odi wc was the only failure of greg chappell....apart from that we were doing very well in odis and tests...winning quite a few test and odi series even abroad...we even made a record of winning 17 odis on the trot while chasing...that was something special because many considered that india did not chase well in odis...just because of one wc we cannot call greg reign as a coach unsuccessful...like i said apart from that we were doing quite well under greg...and like i said he had ego clashes with seniors but that proved good for india...see how the seniors came to realise that they cannot rest on their laurels...ganguly also showed character and made a good comeback...if greg was not there he would have been still inconsistent...true he would not have been able to do what kirsten did but in the same way kirsten could not have done what greg did...viz...induction of young blood in indian team and giving them courage and security....

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

@harmony111. try googling the keywords- dhoni captaincy material chappell. You will find your answer. Maybe you were not following cricket actively in 2006.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

greg chappell is one of the towering figures in australian cricket and hence has a ego and certain arrogance....thats why he had clashes with the indian players...other coaches like john wright kirsten and now fletcher were not of such a big stature and hence they were soft and adjusting and accommodating and avoiding friction route....greg did a lot of good for the indian cricket...he broke the old hierarchy of the senior players and enabled new generation players to become big...everybody knows that seniority is regarded highly and newcomers dont have any say in pretty much everything...greg sought to break down this and hence his clashes with big names of indian cricket like sachin ganguly sehwag bhajji etc...he was the one who brought the australian culture in indian cricket of perform or perish and put the senior players on their toes...they came to know that they cannot rest on past glory and will have to perform consistently...hence their resentment with greg chappell..

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

As Greg Chappell says Doni is exceptional in what he does and if he quits wicket keeping and solely concentrate on his batting and captaining the India team, He will be better and the confidence he has as a cricketer, is simply special, cannot copy and young Angelo Mathews sometimes is close yet need so much courage and improvement and lastly Dhoni is special and exceptional

Posted by Harmony111 on (October 7, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

Once Sehwag was asked pointedly if Greg ever gave him any useful batting tips - his sharp reply was No, never. Just google this. One of our most talented bowlers Irfan Pathan lost his tower after Greg advised him to build muscles instead of focusing on core bowling skills Pathan used to bowl at 135-140 in those days but lost it all due to poor advice. Munaf Patel is another example of Greg's poor cultivation skills. As a coach, he failed to deal with Ganguly, Sachin. Dravid went along partially cos he was way too soft. I actually never heard of Greg ever saying Dhoni would make a great captain. He did say Viru was the future captain of India but did nothing to work on it.

Greg got a decent team from Wright and took it to absolute "Rasaatal". Kirsten inherited that horrible team and made it WC twice over. How can anyone give Greg any credit for this? He destroyed team structure & team morale. Except Raina Greg backed no one else and you try so many times you will hit once in a while.

Posted by anilrajan22 on (October 7, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

No doubts related to Dhoni's exceptional leadership quality today, I do believe this quality was not inherent unlike his ability to read the situation making street smart decisions under pressure. Fans & Management has kept faith and with time & experience he has became a leader who we know today. Under Chappell I don't think dhoni would have been excelled, Looking at the comments from chappell, he might have kept more technically sound wicket keeper in the team like dinesh karthik. So Indian team is lucky today that it is not the case. Apart from the views all you guys shared here, I only remember under his coaching, how Munaf patel who being hailed as the fastest man in Indian cricket at that time converted into ordinary slow bowler..

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

Greg Chappell was the first one to talk about the captainship potential of Dhoni way back in 2006. While Chappell could be criticized for certain things, he also did a few good things for Indian cricket. Firstly, he gave youngsters a chance and let them flower- good examples are Dhoni and Irfan Pathan, who under him was doing very well, but perhaps like Dhoni lacked the mental strength to carry on. Greg Chappell also threw Ganguly out of the comfort zone and asked him to get back into form- which Ganguly eventually did. After his comeback Sourav Ganguly was a different batsman- much more tighter in his technique. Greg Chappell also asked the likes of Viru Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan to get back into shape. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, if these 3 had heeded his advice back then, they would have been still regulars in the Indian team. The fact that Greg Chappell was himself a superstar is what backfired. It led to ego clashes with the seniors and that is why the problems.

Posted by android_user on (October 7, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

@Kamala Holla, Dhoni is above criticism? He is the most scrutinized cricketer in India after Sachin Tendulkar. every move is analyzed and debated. And he deals with all that in such a calm way. Yes, he is an above average test wicker keeper batsman and captain. but his last two test innings (99 and 224) have shown he tries. But as Geoffrey Boycott said, When you talk of Dhoni, if you only go for his test record, when his ODI record, as a captain and as a batsman is exemplary, you're just picking faults. that way, we can pick faults will anyone. Saurav was a great captain, but what did we win in ODIs apart from a natwest series and half a champions trophy? but you can't do that. everyone will have strengths and weaknesses. and don't forget, it was under Dhoni we were no.1 for 20 months, 8 months more than England were. So don't say no one criticizes Dhoni. they do and sometimes unjustly too.

Posted by android_user on (October 7, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

many people arguing that dhoni has a poor record in away tests. I know those whitewashes hurt but just wait for the england series. he will prove all his doubters wrong. india will brush england aside and I have no doubts about it!

Posted by android_user on (October 7, 2013, 2:25 GMT)

mr. sunil vaidya pls be informed that the indian team under dhoni cruised to rank 1 in all the formats of the game when they were under the coaching of Gary Kirsten and not Greg Chappel. whn Chappel coached India, Chappel was worse than a worn out Chappal.

Posted by   on (October 7, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

As a test captain, he's a very poor strategist. He has no commitment to the longer form of the game but for some reason he's above criticism. No other Indian player is above criticism but Dhoni unfortunately is.

Posted by Vishal_07 on (October 7, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

@Sunil Vaidya, also look where India was before Chappell came along. It was unfortunate that Wright had burned out and he didn't want to continue as India coach anymore. He and Ganguly had special things going for the Indian team.

Chappell came along and destroyed everything when all that was needed was to continue on the foundation Wright had built. Kirsten had to restore the confidence of Team India and they became great. Jury is still out on Fletcher as the team has failed miserably in the Test but going great so far in the ODI.

Wright I believe is the true unsung hero. I won't be surprised if he and Kumble were the main people behind MI's success this year!

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

Greg Chappell's stint as a coach of the Indian team was marred by bizarre selection experiments, like his rotation policy in team selection, which left players unsettled, very insecure and disrupted the team balance. His people skills were bordering on non existent as he was unable to establish a working relationship with the then captain Sourav Ganguly or any of the other senior players. His individual handling of key players, like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, in hindsight shown how out of touch he was with team culture. The youngsters he tried to groom, like Irfan Pathan, have all but lost their existing skills. I think Greg Chappell is a highly overrated and egotistical administrator. The effect on the team he handles can be very destructive. He is a classic example of how personal cricketing abilities do not automatically translate into coaching, selection or other team management skills.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

look where india is now and look where australia is now...india brought in chappell as their coach and soon were no 1 in all formats of the game...on the other hand australia under michael clarke chose to insult and dump greg chappell and the result is there for all to see...if greg was australia coach they could have salvaged something...but clarke and his team mates threw out greg chappell and demanded their own choice of team and even selection committee..it is bizarre that clarke was allowed to chose who the selectors and coach would be and as a result australian cricket nosedived...

Posted by Vishal_07 on (October 6, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

@Harmony111, totally agree with you. Greg Chappell should just away from Indian cricket. Before him India went to the WC finals with Wright (where they succumbed to Ponting's brilliance), and after him India won the WC with Kirsten.

It is because of Chappell that Dravid got this black mark on his captaincy of losing in the first round. I for one was very glad when BCCI decided not to extend his contract (at least they got this right!).

Posted by Harmony111 on (October 6, 2013, 18:36 GMT)

I believe this Chappell is some big fish in Australian Cricket at the moment and look what he has done to them. 0-4 in India and 0-3 in Eng with another 0-3/0-4 thrashing looming in the next Ashes.

Come on guys, don't fall for any of the words of this Chappell. The other Chappell is a lot more credible but not this man. He destroyed Indian Cricket when he was the coach, he kept himself free from any of the responsibility for the WC 2007 debacle, he tried to confuse players like Sehwag & Bhajji, he was unable to express his opinions in a reasonable manner to players like Ganguly. If Chappell was such a great coach then why did he fail to see the potential of Dhoni when he was the coach? It is all very easy for him to say now that Dhoni is great and calm and whatever but that is cos Dhoni is now among the world's best & the most succefull captain in the world right now & he somehow wants to join the bandwagon or may be he just lacks any original thoughts

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

Very well said, greg chappell, you were one of the best indian coaches and the most criticised very unfairly....it was because of you that india became champion in all formats of the game....true kirsten was good but what you did kirsten would not have been able to do...it was because of you that new blood was given chance in the indian team and allowed to grow in confidence and security...it was because of you that people like dhoni gambhir raina kohli and others came into indian national team and got a lot of chances...if you were not india's coach at that time...the team of world T20, 2011 wc , the odi triseries in aus would have consisted of dravid sachin ganguly laxman kumble bhajji and others and we would have won neither of these no matter how hard kirsten would have tried...he got what chappell left for him....the new generation indian players...

Posted by CricOr on (October 6, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Wondering!? What is Dhoni's record as a Wicketkeeper, batsman and Captain in away series out of Asia?? If that is analyzed who is the best Indian captain. Answer to this will be very helpful.

Posted by snbirdi on (October 6, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Ok Chappell, keep your opinions to yourself big guy. You were the worst coach the country's ever had, not contributing anything of note to Indian cricket. You Sir, deserve no right to comment on Indian players.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

As a SL fan I can fay that I never had any doubt about Dhoni's confidence. In fact, I have argued many times why he has been the greatest Indian captain - nobody comes even close

Posted by android_user on (October 6, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

virat is like ponting his batting fielding leading is like ponting. extremely fit full of energy like ponting and never fears. will be a worthy successor of dhoni. And Dhoni is one of the best thing happened in Ind cricket. A boy of unknown places lead the cricket now if anyone think Afghans did great then dhoni is the god for the Afghans. Dhoni is the best leader India ever produced.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

agreed with chapel although sometimes I do think his confidence level borders arrogance. I personally feel chappel was hard done as indian coach. Fact is ganguly's form was ordinary and deserved to be dropped. It infact did him and team more good than bad - as evident from ganguly's return in 2007 and amazing run of form for almost 2 years. Best Indian to me has to be Rahul Dravid and then Kumble. I still remember that series in 2007/08 vs Australia, where India ended Australia's winning run and almost drew the series infact. Dravid was best simply because despite an out of form sehwag, declining sachin, inconsistent vvs laxman, inconsistent zaheer, out of form harbajan India managed to win in England, WI and almost beat SA. His oneday record as captain is also pretty good and for those talking about 2007 world-cup, please consider how they bounced back afterwards. They beat SA 2-1 in Ireland. Dhoni was lucky to have viru, zaheer and sachin regain golden form, but is a good captain.

Posted by pull_shot on (October 6, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

@ vishalthakkar22 What can dhoni can do when batting superstars failed in 16 innings and u have d worst bowlers in test playing nations. yesterday just i have seen would u believe or not ishant sharma has ONLY 3 5w's hall out of 51 tests that says something right..........

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Just a small fact...many here seem to think that dhoni was captain for all those 8 tests....let me remind them dhoni was captain for 7 tests and sehwag was captain for 1 test...when dhoni had to sit out one test due to slow bowling overrate...

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

dhoni follows greg chapels principles

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 6, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

@ tanweeralam; All VK haters will agree with you. Y don't u people support a young, talented player like VK to be a good captain?? VK is a good, aggressive lad who would fight till the end. just like ponting. For VK winning is all what matters... and for a captain that's how it should be..

Posted by RP225 on (October 6, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Here I find people talking about 8-0, defensive e.t.c. Please note that Dhoni is judged by his ability of making CSK win in IPL as well. He has lead different teams in different formats having different team composition and still won. The one common denominator is Dhoni. He could be termed as lucky, but one of the qualifications for Captain is luck as well.

Posted by tanweeralam on (October 6, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Some people think Virat is the new Dhoni but he will have tough time holding the team juniors and seniors with ego and still winning and maintaining his form. I would compare Dhoni with Steve Waugh, who like Dhoni was talented but not exceptional compared to his compatriot but brought something as a leader that could make the team achieve the un achievable

Posted by tanweeralam on (October 6, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Confidence is one thing and backing it with talent and desire to win (I wont say lack of fear of failure).

Posted by SamRoy on (October 6, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

Dhoni is a great limited overs captain but he is a bad test captain. He is too defensive and will put a sweeper back as soon as the opposition batsman starts being aggressive. That is basically placing a field for bad bowling. It allows the good balls being milked for singles. It allows batsman to get set (the most vulnerable period for batting) easily and if the batsman is good enough he will score hundreds of runs against this style of captaincy. A better captain wouldn't have lost 8-0 in Australia and England. May be 5-0 but certainly not 8-0 with every loss being a huge one. As a wicket-keeper batsman it is tough to find too many faults with Dhoni except that his bottom-handed technique is not good enough on bouncier pitches. But it is not a big fault and he is irreplaceable as a wicketkeeper batsman for India.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

Dhoni is indeed a special leader. Better than his three predecessors. The two captains [legendary cricketers] before the afore mentioned cannot hold a candle to Dhoni. Team India and the fans are blessed to have Dhoni as the captain. What is good to see is the planning for future captain. I am also very sure that Dhoni's methods will rub off on the two [three?] who are being groomed - Kohli and Pujara [Rohit S]. Good to see a future captain being made ready.

Posted by KingOwl on (October 6, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

As a SL fan I can fay that I never had any doubt about Dhoni's confidence. In fact, I have argued many times why he has been the greatest Indian captain - nobody comes even close (including Ganguly).

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (October 6, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Dhoni is good. no doubt. but Kolhi will be a better captain than Dhoni and win more matches for team India. VK is far more aggressive than Dhoni and he is a super batsman.

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Many people criticize the way Dhoni plays (technicality wise) , many think he always had luck in winning the matches but i would say he always has a pre-planned ways of going away from the difficult situations of the game.He's not a talker but he's a doer. He don't afraid of experimenting the things and is very optimistic that's what makes him a very good "LEADER".

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

dhoni is definitely a great man manager and a confident guy.

Posted by Capricorn60 on (October 6, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

By the time Dhoni retires from cricket, he will go down as the best captain India has ever had - not only for his own wonderful abilities but the way he has captained the team in keeping ultra-cool under pressure and winning everything for his team. His intuition & uncanny ability to make the the right decision at an instant when under immense pressure on the field - has resulted him so often snatching amazing 'last minute' victories for his team from almost the jaws of defeat. He has done this so often by simply having nerves of steel & it will be an awfully long time before we see another captain/player as unique & sometimes unconventional as him!

Posted by vishalthakkar22 on (October 6, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

everyone likes to say good things about someone who is on top of the world and wants to take credit for it. where was guru greg when india lost 8-0 in tests in Eng and Aus after world cup?

Posted by punterdgr8 on (October 6, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

greg chappel's doing the same thing in aus that he did in india that's to debilitate the cricketing structure.india learnt it sooner although the hard way and got rid of him.hope sense prevails with the aussies.cannot see my favourite team struggle.it's goin 2 b 7-0 for india.

Posted by android_user on (October 6, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

Finally Greg Chappel talks something sensible. Dhoni is definitely an unique cricketer. India is lucky to have him. Love u Dhoni.

Posted by Karnain on (October 6, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Couldn't agree more. Confidence is the main reason behind his calmness as a leader

Posted by   on (October 6, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

Dhoni is a great cricketer.he is the success behind Indian cricket team.when he retired India will look like nowadays Australia without ponting :P

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