India in Pakistan, 2005-06 January 7, 2006

Chappell plays down Ganguly issue


Greg Chappell says that Sourav Ganguly's role in the series will be decided by performance © Getty Images

Greg Chappell, India's coach, says he has no differences with Sourav Ganguly and the matter of including him in the playing XI for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan would be a purely cricketing decision. Chappell also lent support to Sachin Tendulkar, saying that he carries greater load of expectations than even Bradman.

"Sourav [Ganguly] is part of touring squad but we will decide after the lead up game what will be the best eleven for the Test," Chappell told PTI. "He is one of those players I don't have any difference with. He understands and I understand what is required of all the players and as a group the focus remains on commitment to excellence. The players understand what is expected of them and Ganguly is no different."

Commenting on the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, Chappell said he had found Dravid a strong competitor. "He is learning very quickly but we all need to understand that captaincy is a tough job and you learn with every game," he said. "A captain needs to be strong, have confidence in himself and be courageous to take decisions at all stages of the game. Dravid has the talent to be one of the best captains India have ever produced, also because he has a very good cricketing brain. Dravid is a quiet but strong character and I think the players respect him."

Looking back over the past eight months of his coaching stint with India, Greg Chappell says he was yet to fully grasp the enormity, complexity and occasional danger of his role. "There is nothing like it in world cricket or even world sport," Chappell said. "May be there are some similarities in Brazil with soccer but, then again, they aren't dealing with these kind of numbers," he was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

The Australian great also said it was the expectation of a billion people and the often overpowering hype which proved just how resilient the Indian players were. "Sachin Tendulkar carries a weight of collective expectation to the crease that few can comprehend. Bradman would not have had the weight of expectation that Sachin has on him every time he went out to bat," he said. "You can't just look at his statistical record. That's not even close to summing up what he is and what he has done. He has been the great hope of this country for 16 or 17 years. Because India, as a team, has not been as successful as other teams over the years, the expectations of the nation have tended to shift onto the shoulders of the individuals."