Fierce Focus: Greg Chappell May 5, 2012

Chappell the Indian

The former India coach's flaw was not that he was too Australian, as this book reveals
38

Unlike Ian Chappell, who wore his heart on his sleeve, the middle Chappell came across most often as Greg the Reticent, and occasionally as Greg the Grouchy, but even his worst critics acknowledge that his views on the game are sound and worthy of attention. Too bad he needed to understand not just the mechanics of the square cut but also what made a Virender Sehwag tick.

I thought initially that India handled Chappell badly as coach, till I realised that the reverse was also true. It was not a cultural thing; in fact, reading Fierce Focus an alternative theory presents itself. It was not that Chappell was too Australian, it was that temperamentally he was too Indian. Once that is understood, everything else falls into place.

That Chappell was one of the great batsmen there is no doubt; and although the Indian experience forms only a small portion of this book, it probably throws more light on his character than the rest.

Chappell's spats with Sourav Ganguly have become part of folklore. How a friendship fell apart is neatly described. Ganguly, who had a role to play in Chappell getting the India job, felt the Australian ought to be eternally grateful and back him no matter what. Chappell's suggestion that Sachin Tendulkar should bat at No. 4 in ODIs in the interests of the team was not well received by that batsman, nor was his insistence on Sehwag doing physical work.

It is in the casual throwaway lines that Chappell reveals his Indianness. When Dilip Vengsarkar took over as the chairman of selectors, "[his] loyalties were unclear..." That is a typical Indian reaction, placing loyalty above professionalism.

In his last Test, admits Chappell, he was conscious of making the runs needed to take him past Don Bradman's aggregate for Australia, as well as of taking the catch that would give him the record ahead of Colin Cowdrey. "I didn't want to be tempted to play another year out, of a nagging feeling of leaving something unfinished. I wanted to end my Test career with all the loose ends tied up."

Fierce Focus (an expression for the manner in which Chappell followed his concentrate-and-relax technique while batting) tells us much about Greg the player, and a little about Greg the man, without shying away from the controversies or the personal failings. That is the strength of the book.

The story of the Brisbane wicket being remade in the middle of a Test against West Indies takes one's breath away. For the Indian reader, there are the embarrassing stories of the way the cricket board treats its contracted professionals. Chappell's predecessor, John Wright, has written about how when he returned after an Indian victory, he was greeted at the airport with a limousine, and if it was a defeat, he was left to fend for himself.

Chappell writes about how the BCCI was "usually late in paying our bills" and how "wages were paid months late." Yet he was never given credit for putting India on the road to the pinnacle as the No. 1 Test team in the world, or indeed bringing an element of flexibility to the ODI batting order, which was initially scoffed at but later adapted.

His habit of sending text messages to trusted journalists was a way of countering Ganguly's "backgrounder sessions" for his friends in the media. That was Indian fighting Indian, and the less experienced Indian lost out.

Fierce Focus: Greg Chappell
by Malcolm Knox
Hardie Grant Books
371pp, A$45


Suresh Menon is the editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack India

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on May 8, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Greg Chappell had 7 ducks during 1981-82 series but he came out from a dark patch and in next 2 years, finished his career on good note. He could help india, building interest in tests too which is becoming so hard for them since their top 3-4 are heading for retirement. The short tempered reaction is a typical sub continent thing, it's good to know some aussies are similar too. I am a Pakistani fan who wants cricket above politics. We can only pray so far. Regards

  • Emancipator007 on May 7, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Zaheer,Nehra,Viru,Bhaji,Yuvraj (even SRT's mind was messed) the ones for Greg's chopping block were the key to ODI World Cup win. @Deepanjan,I would not credit Greg to Ganguly scoring quality runs at very good average against rated teams (SA,OZ,Eng,Pak with failure only in 1 series against SL) after his against-all-impossible-odds comeback. SIMPLY cos Greg (along with team management inc. Dravid)did not want him back. And Gang hardly did anything diff (in terms of his fitness) to merit a comeback; just that his immense willpower and desire to be rated as a quality bat again helped him score nearly international 3000 runs (perennially unbiased Ian called him India's best Test bat then) after being back. That's why been saying that Gang along with S. Waugh were mentally the toughest players of past 20 years of international cricket with Gang expected to always fail whereas Waugh always expected to succeed -their mental strength and willpower drove them to succeed.

  • jay57870 on May 7, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Suresh - Yes, it takes two to tango: Chappell & Ganguly must both share blame for their ugly spats. But when Greg ends up antagonising most of the Indian team - even the respected old order (incl. Kumble & Tendulkar) - he becomes Greg the Fierce. As in "Fierce" in his book's title. Check out the synonyms. His true character is exposed: There's no "Indianness" whatsoever in his confrontational my-way-or-the-highway style. Media manipulation or not, it's phony to blame "Indian culture" as he did in a recent interview. How come then John Wright before him & Gary Kirsten after him were so successful in Team India's ascendancy? Because they were people persons and believed in respect & harmony. They worked with Ganguly & Dhoni to build a strong team culture. That's where Greg failed; so the team tanked & he had to resign. Even CA sacked him as talent manager last year (Argus review). He was even banned from the Oz dressing room. Chappell the Fierce failed again. You have it wrong, Suresh!

  • BillyCC on May 6, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Greg Chappell could have taken India to the next level. Instead, what India got was a couple of years at number one and now facing a decade of horrors with greats retiring, and a lack of confidence.

  • on May 6, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    @hyclass military style coaching is pre-world warish!! World has moved on and much better coaching techniques have evolved!

  • howardroark_fh on May 6, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    @ henchart there's no point in trying to prove something to people whose views r so biased. anyway nice post from u bro.

  • on May 6, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @maddy20- When I say his captaincy skills are over-rated, I don't exactly mean that he is not a good captain. As an Indian, I admit to Ganguly's contribution to India's rise in 2000s. What I mean is that his efforts are often exaggerated and he's excessively credited. People say he is responsible for infusion and development of talent like Yuvi, bhajji n zaheer. Does anyone say that Dravid fostered Dhoni and Raina? Or Dhoni did that with Praveen,Kohli etc. And I can list to you some of the games where he was partly responsible for PW's losses. Most of the times I see him bat these days, he's either not scoring or scores at strike-rate of 90-100 when his team requires run-rate in excess of 8-9 runs per over. Also, PW may not be a bunch of stars, but they are definitely not a bunch of nobodys. Uthappa is among the top-scorers; Ryder& Smith have made good contributions. However I do admit that they don't have that punch in their bowling and Ganguly has managed his bowling resources well.

  • remnant on May 6, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @maddy20, Ganguly's teams always win a few games in the initial part of thw tournament, even his KKR used to do that, but they alwyas peter out when others go on full steam! And his team this time was decent, much better than RR and KXIP. Mathews, Ryder, Smith, Parnell are really T20 materials, and the induction of Clarke adds serious pedigree to this team. Could it not be the lack of optimal utilization of these resources that proved their bane? What about the great anchor innings he played all through the torunament at a run a ball, sometimes really out of the game context. But the SG fans never willl understand this, and will always have a couple of excuses to defend him, like either its weak team, bad mgmt., or bad luck, its laways a running theme in all his T20 endeavours! Ask a Gilchrist or a RD, what it means to mobilize a team of lesser known players. And when he does get replaced by Clarke, his fans will scream another betrayal, that's also a given. So PWI beware.

  • Srini88 on May 6, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    @Bublu Bhuyan.. What @rahulcricket007 says I believe is you can easily count the number of stand out performances. 10 out of 200, for instance isnt great to HIS standards!

  • on May 6, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    @rahulcricket007: First reply that how could he have so many wonderful knocks in swinging conditions as mentioned by Henchart if he feared the swinging ball?

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on May 8, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Greg Chappell had 7 ducks during 1981-82 series but he came out from a dark patch and in next 2 years, finished his career on good note. He could help india, building interest in tests too which is becoming so hard for them since their top 3-4 are heading for retirement. The short tempered reaction is a typical sub continent thing, it's good to know some aussies are similar too. I am a Pakistani fan who wants cricket above politics. We can only pray so far. Regards

  • Emancipator007 on May 7, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Zaheer,Nehra,Viru,Bhaji,Yuvraj (even SRT's mind was messed) the ones for Greg's chopping block were the key to ODI World Cup win. @Deepanjan,I would not credit Greg to Ganguly scoring quality runs at very good average against rated teams (SA,OZ,Eng,Pak with failure only in 1 series against SL) after his against-all-impossible-odds comeback. SIMPLY cos Greg (along with team management inc. Dravid)did not want him back. And Gang hardly did anything diff (in terms of his fitness) to merit a comeback; just that his immense willpower and desire to be rated as a quality bat again helped him score nearly international 3000 runs (perennially unbiased Ian called him India's best Test bat then) after being back. That's why been saying that Gang along with S. Waugh were mentally the toughest players of past 20 years of international cricket with Gang expected to always fail whereas Waugh always expected to succeed -their mental strength and willpower drove them to succeed.

  • jay57870 on May 7, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Suresh - Yes, it takes two to tango: Chappell & Ganguly must both share blame for their ugly spats. But when Greg ends up antagonising most of the Indian team - even the respected old order (incl. Kumble & Tendulkar) - he becomes Greg the Fierce. As in "Fierce" in his book's title. Check out the synonyms. His true character is exposed: There's no "Indianness" whatsoever in his confrontational my-way-or-the-highway style. Media manipulation or not, it's phony to blame "Indian culture" as he did in a recent interview. How come then John Wright before him & Gary Kirsten after him were so successful in Team India's ascendancy? Because they were people persons and believed in respect & harmony. They worked with Ganguly & Dhoni to build a strong team culture. That's where Greg failed; so the team tanked & he had to resign. Even CA sacked him as talent manager last year (Argus review). He was even banned from the Oz dressing room. Chappell the Fierce failed again. You have it wrong, Suresh!

  • BillyCC on May 6, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Greg Chappell could have taken India to the next level. Instead, what India got was a couple of years at number one and now facing a decade of horrors with greats retiring, and a lack of confidence.

  • on May 6, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    @hyclass military style coaching is pre-world warish!! World has moved on and much better coaching techniques have evolved!

  • howardroark_fh on May 6, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    @ henchart there's no point in trying to prove something to people whose views r so biased. anyway nice post from u bro.

  • on May 6, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @maddy20- When I say his captaincy skills are over-rated, I don't exactly mean that he is not a good captain. As an Indian, I admit to Ganguly's contribution to India's rise in 2000s. What I mean is that his efforts are often exaggerated and he's excessively credited. People say he is responsible for infusion and development of talent like Yuvi, bhajji n zaheer. Does anyone say that Dravid fostered Dhoni and Raina? Or Dhoni did that with Praveen,Kohli etc. And I can list to you some of the games where he was partly responsible for PW's losses. Most of the times I see him bat these days, he's either not scoring or scores at strike-rate of 90-100 when his team requires run-rate in excess of 8-9 runs per over. Also, PW may not be a bunch of stars, but they are definitely not a bunch of nobodys. Uthappa is among the top-scorers; Ryder& Smith have made good contributions. However I do admit that they don't have that punch in their bowling and Ganguly has managed his bowling resources well.

  • remnant on May 6, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @maddy20, Ganguly's teams always win a few games in the initial part of thw tournament, even his KKR used to do that, but they alwyas peter out when others go on full steam! And his team this time was decent, much better than RR and KXIP. Mathews, Ryder, Smith, Parnell are really T20 materials, and the induction of Clarke adds serious pedigree to this team. Could it not be the lack of optimal utilization of these resources that proved their bane? What about the great anchor innings he played all through the torunament at a run a ball, sometimes really out of the game context. But the SG fans never willl understand this, and will always have a couple of excuses to defend him, like either its weak team, bad mgmt., or bad luck, its laways a running theme in all his T20 endeavours! Ask a Gilchrist or a RD, what it means to mobilize a team of lesser known players. And when he does get replaced by Clarke, his fans will scream another betrayal, that's also a given. So PWI beware.

  • Srini88 on May 6, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    @Bublu Bhuyan.. What @rahulcricket007 says I believe is you can easily count the number of stand out performances. 10 out of 200, for instance isnt great to HIS standards!

  • on May 6, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    @rahulcricket007: First reply that how could he have so many wonderful knocks in swinging conditions as mentioned by Henchart if he feared the swinging ball?

  • maddy20 on May 6, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @Gursharan I am amazed that you think his captaincy skills were over-rated. He has managed to win 4 games with a bunch of nobodys. Pune have surely punched above their weight if they had Yuvraj Singh, they would have surely won a lot more. Compare this to sides that the likes of Mumbai have and the fact that they have won just one game more than Pune!

  • henchart on May 6, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    @rahulcricket007: It was that Elephant who saved a test against swinging ball in Manchester ,it was that elephant which batted with a bleeding nose against rampaging Waqar and Wasim to save a test in Pakistan ,it was that elephant which batted with searing back pain on a square turner against Saqlain while his 5 team mates couldnt muster 16 runs in Chepauk,it was that elephant which steered India in a thrilling 4th innings chase against England at Chepauk with Yuvraj and Sehwag's help ofcourse.It is a blessing for the country that the elephant has represented it but that elephant's curse that it has to take on the doubting thomases even after 22 years of yeoman service.

  • on May 6, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Finally I am happy to see sensible talk about Ganguly. Or may be my fellow Bengalees are too busy with the KKR Pune match still, and didn't notice this yet. Chappell might have been a bad coach, a bad man and all, I don't care. He wasn't ours. Ganguly's performance was below par starting from the WC2003, he scored three hundreds against non test playing countries and averaged below 30 otherwise. He still continued to lead well, and played some leading knocks such as in Brisebane, Pakistan, etc, but as a batsman he was downhill. From end of 2004 onwards he was a burden in the batting line up.

    Whatever Greg wrote in that email, most journalists actually believed it, as written in one cricinfo article at that time. Ganguly was finally dropped, but some of our immensely talented and hence lazy players did not like the coach insisting them to improve further. So GC had to go. I still think some of the approaches he implemented were key in the rise of the team afterwards.

  • maddy20 on May 6, 2012, 2:54 GMT

    @Sriraj G.S. Sachin is clearly getting old and his reflexes are getting slow. A few years ago he would have been the first to get his batting gear on put up his hand and say I will do it. You should also understand that Sachin has been batting at No.4 since Sehwag and Gambhir started opening. As for Harbhajan its not fitness that caused his drop. He is out of form. After Chappel wanted to fire Sehwag, Kirsten encouraged him to play his natural game and Paddy upton finetuned his confidence. The result: Six months after Greg leaves India wins WC T20 in South Africa and 4 years later we won the WC with Sehwag playing an important part in both. As for Yuvraj, true he was not at full fitness. But these are professional sportsmen and you can't just go ahead and bluntly shoot it on their face. The fact remains that he just wanted all these guys out of the team instead of finetuning them. And here in India hurting sentiment is like putting your hand in a hornet's nest!

  • avinash200j on May 6, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    @Rahulcricket007-VVs came at number 3 in England because he openly admitted a lot of times that he would love to play in that position....The funny thing is your thought that Sachin fears the moving ball....Well this man has plundered runs in all conditions and you think he fears the moving ball.....I just see pure jealous towards sachin from a Dravid fan....The players are out there as a team for the country and fans like you are the one's who spark the things...

  • StatisticsRocks on May 5, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    I agree with most of the posts here that are reflective to some extent off our culture. Obviously I have not read this book so cannot provide comments in favor or agnst or even critique Gregs writing. The star culture that persists in India has to stop, mostly we as fans should stop worshipping these cricketers (bollywood actors/actress) like gods. They are doing their job in their proffession like every other citizen does. I would rather worship those brave souls who got independence to our country and to the men and women of uniform whose sole purpose is to defend our country and provide us the freedom to enjoy cricket. Nothing or no-one is bigger than the country. Just coz dada played a role in getting Mr. Chappel this role doesnt mean he cpould demand what ever wants or get his way. If a batsmen no matter how gr8 is asked by the coach to bat down the order he better do that for the country. Shame on BCCI with so much money and not pyng bills on time.

  • on May 5, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    This is possibly the most intelligent and insightful comments-thread that I am reading. I strongly agree with ansh2010, Sriraj, meety, and very much with johnnyrook. If somebody has a good long-term cricket memory, one can recall that Ganguly had seriously become a non-performing asset for the team, apart from his captaincy skill, which I feel were often over-rated. Of course he had great leadership qualities, but he was lucky to have good resources during his time (something that SRT missed during his 2 stints as captain). It was only after his ouster that he came back as a valuable batsman. And his behavioral issues have been visible even during his time at KKR. He's been one of the slowest T20 frontline batsman in last 2-3 IPLs, but still retains his typical airyness. His captaincy has been fruitless in IPL, coz this time it's SRT, Dhoni and others who have the rigth resources. Surprisingly, he still has the power to get fans crazy about him.

  • on May 5, 2012, 17:53 GMT

    That is the a naive view on things. Today, a coach has to be a manager first and coach later. Chappell never understood that. All your strategies are going to fail if you don't marshal your team well. That's the most basic element of HR management and Greg was just too stupid to understand that.

  • rahulcricket007 on May 5, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    @HENCHART . OK IF SACHIN DIDN'T FEARS AGAINST SWINGING BALL THEN WHY DID HE NOT COME TO BAT IN NO .3 SLOT IN ENGLAND WHEN DRAVID WAS OPENING . LAXMAN CAME TO BAT AT NO .3 IN ENGLAND SEVERAL TIMES BUT THAT ELEPHANT(SACHIN) NEVER MOVES FROM HIS PLACE .

  • on May 5, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    How do you know if Tendulkar refused to open? It may well have been Team management's decision on batting order and btw Tendulkar was playing Test cricket not ODI.

  • JohnnyRook on May 5, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    I was glad when Ganguly was dropped because he had almost become the non playing captain of the team. He was a great captain and a player but it seemed he had started resting on his past laurels and being the captain instead of performances. A captain needn't be the best player in the team but can't afford to be the worst one. However it was weird to have Sachin play at #4 in ODIs. He has made more runs than anybody at higher ODI index (average X strikerate) than any other opener. So why change the winning combination and that too in a World Cup. Also there is not much point discussing whether it was a right move or not when Chappell himself has said in an interview that it was a wrong move on his part

  • JohnnyRook on May 5, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @Sriraj. Tendulkar has always been a 2 down batsman. It is the job of a 1 down batsman to open if required since 1 down is the most coveted spot. So Dravid opening the inning in absence of regular opener is not much of a sacrifice. And I am a big fan of Dravid (and of VVS and Sachin too) @Meety. VVS comes at #5 and he has always wanted to come at #3. He has stated so in many interviews. So when Dravid is not at #3, VVS is, with SRT staying at #4, his preferred spot. So basically all 3 are fairly happy with cards they have been dealt. Unfortunately, their respective fanboys aren't.

  • JohnnyRook on May 5, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    I think too many people miss a simple point. Chappell didn't just fail with India. He also failed with Australia (Players asked him to stay away from dressing room) and coaching stint with South Australia in late 90's (5 seasons. no sheffiled shild. 2 last positions). Personally I think he is a great batting coach at elementary levels. But at international level as a head coach, he is a liability because other skills including off-field skills are lot more important than batting skills.

  • on May 5, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Not sure why we still want to talk about Greg Chappell "the coach". No one wants to argue about his credentials as a batsman and as a cricket analyst. However, like a great batsman does not automatically become a great leader (Sachin Tendulkar, for instance), a great cricket analyst does not automatically become a great coach. Chappell failed as a coach, not only in India, but also in his other assignments as a coach/advisor when he was appointed by Cricket Australia. Apart from India's recent rough patch, the worst phase in recent Indian cricket history was when Chappell was our coach. And lets not forget that India got its best results under Kirsten (with the same group of players) immediately after Chappell left. I can only conclude that the fault lay at Chappell's door coz Kirsten was able to harness the skills of Indian players much better. His successor (Fletcher) - well, that is another story..!!

  • on May 5, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    @karn @henchart: Then please enlighten us as to why Tendulkar refused to open when Sehwag and Gambhir were injured in England? Dravid had just finished an epic innings carrying his bat for the team and had to go out to bat again for the follow-on innings. Why couldn't Tendulkar chip in and say he would open for that innings becuase he has a wealth of ODI experience doing that?

  • Bollo on May 5, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    @karn, henchart, and rahul; I`m fairly sure that Sachin, Viv and Lara have all opened at least once or twice in tests (not sure about The Don), but Sachin has certainly never batted at No.3, where Bradman spent the majority of his career, and where Lara and Viv also batted for about one-third of theirs.

  • Drew2 on May 5, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    It could be the cultural difference that led to the end of Chappell in India. Regardless of that, or who's fault it was, it is India's loss that he went.

  • Meety on May 5, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    IMO - Chappell was too brutally frank to succeed long term with India. Even when India's latest fitness coach came on board he noted how poor their skin folds were. Point being they were amateurs being paid as professionals. If Chappell employed a bit of Wright-like persuassion, maybe things would of been different. Who knows? @karn - the main point that rahul (otherwise known as the man who always posts in capitals) was making is valid. Sachin has NEVER batted #3 in his entire test career. Superficially no big deal when Rahul Dravid is the usual #3, however, when an opener is out of action & Rahul moved to the opening slot, Sachin NEVER changed position, everyone else has to. BTW - most of Bradman's career coincided with exceptional openers in the Oz side, Bradman did slot up & down the order according to needs. Viv Richards batted anywhere from #3 to #5 on a fairly regular basis. @henchart - I agree, I don't think Sachin feared the moving ball anymore than any other topline batsmen

  • on May 5, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    @deepanjan i agree with ur comment.even though ganguly would never agree, he came back as a better test cricketer after the whip cracked by greg.

  • henchart on May 5, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 :Sachin fears swinging ball? Are you serious?Some of Sachin's best knocks have been against swinging and moving ball while most of his team mates have fallen like nine pins.Perth 1992,Edgbaston 1996,Barbados 1997,Melbourne 1999,Centurion 2010 were all witness to his gems . Kirsten was lucky during his stint because India toured beyond sub continent only once and that too NZL . Series levelling wins against SA ,SLK during Kirsten's tenure helped India cling to No.1 test spot but once they toured UK and Aus ,bubble burst and they got exposed.India did beat Aus at home in 2010 but that was more of out of skin win thanks to VVS .Point is Wright- Ganguly and later Chappell helped lay a base on which Dhoni -Kirsten built a mansion only to be demolished too soon .

  • on May 5, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    "That was Indian fighting Indian, and the less experienced Indian lost out." - yep, priceless line that. Always thought Chappell was just trigger happy, and limelight hogging type - just like the prima donnas in Indian dressing room. But to deny him credit for whipping up Zak, stoking Sehwag, and taking SRT out of his comfort zone can't be denied. Ganguly might disagree, but dropping got him work his backside off, and play probably some of his best cricket on his return. He tried to tap into Irfan's batting skills, and under him India had become a formidable side chasing in ODIs, something which never was their strength. Had he retreated backstage, he'd have gotten the rope Fletcher is getting now.

  • skepticaloptimist on May 5, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @rahulcricket07 - Lara never opened, I guess he was also afraid of facing the swinging ball. Not to forget Bradman, Viv Richards, and other great non-opening batsmen, right? Hell no. Certain players specialize, and have preferences. No doubt, the batsman after whom you're named is one of the greatest to grace the sport, but c'mon - don't have to be so blinded.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on May 5, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 -- completely agree with you there ,and as for greg he is a brilliant cricketer no doubt but he was never good at man management and this is what made kirsten so good.. remember even CA fired this guy.. but you are right about fitness of sehwag,zaheer and attitude of tendulkar

  • on May 5, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    When India recently lost 4-0 to England, it was because blokes like Zaheer and Sehwag did not give an iota of care for their fitness. Greg also marked out Harbhajan and Yuvraj - one of whom is not even playing for India now. It has been proven that Greg Chappell was doing the right things. The problem was that people like him and Duncan Fletcher deserve to be employed only by professional teams - not India where politics and bureaucracy run deep. Like Sunil below said, India got to No.1 more because of Chappell's work rather than Kirsten or Dhoni who were mostly at the right place at the right time.

  • on May 5, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    It was Greg Chapell who was responsible for India being no. 1 in all formats at some point of time. The credit usually goes to Kirsten. Not that his contribution was insignificant. But what Greg Chappell did Kirsten would not have been able to do. viz, getting the new generation the experience, courage, and security and chance at the right time. They were performing well but had it not been for Greg it would have been Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble who would have played The T20 WC, the Odi WC and the australian CB series and we would not won either of these. If players like Dhoni, Gambhir, Raina, Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Ishant, Ozha, Mishra, Rohit Sharma and others got the chance to play international cricket and be so expedrienced and established in the indian side right now a large part of the credit goes to Greg whose young blood policy eventually got the Indian team to no. 1 Not taking any credit away from Kirsten who dd very well but what greg did kirsten could not have don

  • sachin_champ on May 5, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    A very well judged article . Greg had an spark but I think at time too many swords want to be in one case (Indian dressing room ) . N want to rule that case . Of course less experience one got defeated . But being a reluctant scientist ( Greg ) was also not a good one .

  • ansh2010 on May 5, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    It is a little amazing why Greg Chappell alone is blamed for everything that could have gone wrong with Indian cricket during that particular phase of 2006-07. At the time he took overin 2005 and the Indian team saw success at home and in Pakistan he was being hailed as a Guru who would set all things right for them. But the moment India lost a one day series in the Carribbean all hell broke lose. The win in the test series after that was called "unconvincing"by the media for some reason. It is from there onwards that the Indian team really slumped. Why blame Chappel alone for all the ensuing failures incl. the World cup 2007? If our guys were not upto the mark at that time or were acting as prima donas who insisted on doing things in their old ways there is little the coach could have done. They were not keen on trying out new things for a change. That has always been a stumbling block for our cricketers. Is it fair to blame Greg Chappel entirely for their shortcomings ?

  • rahulcricket007 on May 5, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    SACHIN WANTS TO BAT IN ODI IN OPENING SLOT BUT IN TESTS HE WILL ALWAYS BAT ON NO. 4 SLOT , HE WILL NEVER CAME TO BAT AT OPENING . BECAUSE HE FEARS AGAINST SWINGING BALL WHILE DRAVID ALWAYS PUT TEAM BEFORE HIM & OPEN IN TESTS WHEN THERE WAS NEED . ALSO GREG WAS RIGHT ABOUT SEHWAG & ZAHEER 'S FITNESS ISSUES . LOOK AT THESE TWO PLAYERS . THEY ARE OVERWEIGHTED & INJURY PRONE & ALSO BAD FIELDERS . DHONI WAS RIGHT IN POINTING SEHWAG 'S SLOWNESS IN THE FIELD IN AUS . THE ONLY THING ABOUT GREG WHICH I DON'T LIKE WAS THE MISUNDERSTANDING AGAINST GANGULY .

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • rahulcricket007 on May 5, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    SACHIN WANTS TO BAT IN ODI IN OPENING SLOT BUT IN TESTS HE WILL ALWAYS BAT ON NO. 4 SLOT , HE WILL NEVER CAME TO BAT AT OPENING . BECAUSE HE FEARS AGAINST SWINGING BALL WHILE DRAVID ALWAYS PUT TEAM BEFORE HIM & OPEN IN TESTS WHEN THERE WAS NEED . ALSO GREG WAS RIGHT ABOUT SEHWAG & ZAHEER 'S FITNESS ISSUES . LOOK AT THESE TWO PLAYERS . THEY ARE OVERWEIGHTED & INJURY PRONE & ALSO BAD FIELDERS . DHONI WAS RIGHT IN POINTING SEHWAG 'S SLOWNESS IN THE FIELD IN AUS . THE ONLY THING ABOUT GREG WHICH I DON'T LIKE WAS THE MISUNDERSTANDING AGAINST GANGULY .

  • ansh2010 on May 5, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    It is a little amazing why Greg Chappell alone is blamed for everything that could have gone wrong with Indian cricket during that particular phase of 2006-07. At the time he took overin 2005 and the Indian team saw success at home and in Pakistan he was being hailed as a Guru who would set all things right for them. But the moment India lost a one day series in the Carribbean all hell broke lose. The win in the test series after that was called "unconvincing"by the media for some reason. It is from there onwards that the Indian team really slumped. Why blame Chappel alone for all the ensuing failures incl. the World cup 2007? If our guys were not upto the mark at that time or were acting as prima donas who insisted on doing things in their old ways there is little the coach could have done. They were not keen on trying out new things for a change. That has always been a stumbling block for our cricketers. Is it fair to blame Greg Chappel entirely for their shortcomings ?

  • sachin_champ on May 5, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    A very well judged article . Greg had an spark but I think at time too many swords want to be in one case (Indian dressing room ) . N want to rule that case . Of course less experience one got defeated . But being a reluctant scientist ( Greg ) was also not a good one .

  • on May 5, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    It was Greg Chapell who was responsible for India being no. 1 in all formats at some point of time. The credit usually goes to Kirsten. Not that his contribution was insignificant. But what Greg Chappell did Kirsten would not have been able to do. viz, getting the new generation the experience, courage, and security and chance at the right time. They were performing well but had it not been for Greg it would have been Ganguly, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble who would have played The T20 WC, the Odi WC and the australian CB series and we would not won either of these. If players like Dhoni, Gambhir, Raina, Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Ishant, Ozha, Mishra, Rohit Sharma and others got the chance to play international cricket and be so expedrienced and established in the indian side right now a large part of the credit goes to Greg whose young blood policy eventually got the Indian team to no. 1 Not taking any credit away from Kirsten who dd very well but what greg did kirsten could not have don

  • on May 5, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    When India recently lost 4-0 to England, it was because blokes like Zaheer and Sehwag did not give an iota of care for their fitness. Greg also marked out Harbhajan and Yuvraj - one of whom is not even playing for India now. It has been proven that Greg Chappell was doing the right things. The problem was that people like him and Duncan Fletcher deserve to be employed only by professional teams - not India where politics and bureaucracy run deep. Like Sunil below said, India got to No.1 more because of Chappell's work rather than Kirsten or Dhoni who were mostly at the right place at the right time.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on May 5, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 -- completely agree with you there ,and as for greg he is a brilliant cricketer no doubt but he was never good at man management and this is what made kirsten so good.. remember even CA fired this guy.. but you are right about fitness of sehwag,zaheer and attitude of tendulkar

  • skepticaloptimist on May 5, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @rahulcricket07 - Lara never opened, I guess he was also afraid of facing the swinging ball. Not to forget Bradman, Viv Richards, and other great non-opening batsmen, right? Hell no. Certain players specialize, and have preferences. No doubt, the batsman after whom you're named is one of the greatest to grace the sport, but c'mon - don't have to be so blinded.

  • on May 5, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    "That was Indian fighting Indian, and the less experienced Indian lost out." - yep, priceless line that. Always thought Chappell was just trigger happy, and limelight hogging type - just like the prima donnas in Indian dressing room. But to deny him credit for whipping up Zak, stoking Sehwag, and taking SRT out of his comfort zone can't be denied. Ganguly might disagree, but dropping got him work his backside off, and play probably some of his best cricket on his return. He tried to tap into Irfan's batting skills, and under him India had become a formidable side chasing in ODIs, something which never was their strength. Had he retreated backstage, he'd have gotten the rope Fletcher is getting now.

  • henchart on May 5, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 :Sachin fears swinging ball? Are you serious?Some of Sachin's best knocks have been against swinging and moving ball while most of his team mates have fallen like nine pins.Perth 1992,Edgbaston 1996,Barbados 1997,Melbourne 1999,Centurion 2010 were all witness to his gems . Kirsten was lucky during his stint because India toured beyond sub continent only once and that too NZL . Series levelling wins against SA ,SLK during Kirsten's tenure helped India cling to No.1 test spot but once they toured UK and Aus ,bubble burst and they got exposed.India did beat Aus at home in 2010 but that was more of out of skin win thanks to VVS .Point is Wright- Ganguly and later Chappell helped lay a base on which Dhoni -Kirsten built a mansion only to be demolished too soon .

  • on May 5, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    @deepanjan i agree with ur comment.even though ganguly would never agree, he came back as a better test cricketer after the whip cracked by greg.