Australia in India 2008-09 September 23, 2008

Chappell helps Australia in India

Cricinfo staff


Greg Chappell arrives in Jaipur with the Australia squad © AFP
 

Australia have enlisted the help of the former India coach Greg Chappell as they prepare to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy away from home. Chappell is travelling with the squad as an assistant coach and he will pass on advice to the players and support staff about cricket and life in India.

"It's good to be involved this time," Chappell told the Herald Sun. "Obviously it's a transition period and always an exciting time. I'll have the opportunity to work with some of the young players. Just talk about the conditions in India, generally, will be part of the role, just what to expect in India, conditions, weather, food - all those different things.

"We'll be talking about the whole strategy involving bowling and batting in India. There will be discussions certainly with the coaching staff and probably with the individuals."

Brett Lee, who is the spearhead of the bowling attack but has not played a Test in India, said that Chappell would be "a very key member of the Australian team". "He's here and he's wearing Australian colours," Lee said. "What he did for the Indian players was brilliant, but he's moved on, taken up a new challenge, and that's great for us.

"Being a former India coach is one of the reasons he's here but also for his experience as a past Australian captain and player. We will definitely be picking his brains for every little bit of knowledge and experience he's gained. We are looking forward to having Greg Chappell help us and the guys with their batting and fielding."

Chappell was the coach of India from 2005 to 2007 and still works with the Rajasthan Cricket Academy. During his term with India, Chappell had strained relations with the captain Sourav Ganugly and the coach's tenure ended after India's first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup. The new role, touring with Australia, follows his appointment as the head coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

"It's a role that the Centre of Excellence head does from time to time," Chappell said. "Tim Nielsen obviously did it with the team on various occasions when he was with the academy, so it's no different to the past. Some people will want to make it look different, but it's not."

Chappell's inclusion in the off-field staff will be a major boost for a squad that has only four men who have played a Test in India: Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich. The Australians arrived in Jaipur on Monday and they will have two warm-up games before the Test series begins on October 9.

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