India v Sri Lanka, Group B, Trinidad March 24, 2007

It wasn't good enough - Chappell

Cricinfo staff

Greg Chappell appeared in what was probably his most volatile press conference in the job. "In light of recent events," he said, referring to the Bob Woolmer incident, "I am not going to be making any comments about what's wrong with anything or anybody." It did not stop the media from trying.



'I think Indian team definitely playing under more pressure than most teams because of the weight of expectation back in India' © AFP

Who should take responsibility for this defeat?
I think it's a collective responsibility. We didn't play well enough and it is a disappointment that everyone has to share.

Would you like to continue as coach?
This is not the time to talk about that.

This proves Vision 2007 has failed. Is it a personal failure for you?
As I said before I think it's a collective responsibility. We've come here with high expectations obviously, certainly from home, and we haven't been able to live up to that. That's something that everyone is well aware of in the dressing room. It's a fairly quiet place as you can imagine at the moment. Everybody's disappointed. As Rahul [Dravid] said some time back, we're all in it together and we have to share in it together.

The team looked flat in the middle. Have they played too much cricket?
I think coming out of Jamaica the feeling in the group was very strong and the spirit was fine and high and we were confident and we had a reasonably good break in that period in Jamaica so that we can complain about that or use that as the excuse. At the end of the day we didn't play well enough in the group stage.

Was the team under pressure?
I think Indian team definitely playing under more pressure than most teams because of the weight of expectation back in India. I think it does have an effect and I would say from my experience from the last few weeks that it definitely had its effect, playing up to the Bangladesh game I thought the boys were a bit anxious at that stage and then the pressure built from there. Today, they just didn't play that well. I think the bowlers did a reasonable job and we didn't really give ourselves a chance to win the match because we didn't get any partnerships.

There was a whole hype built around how this team was working towards the World Cup. What went wrong?
There is nothing more to be said other than we didn't play well enough. The fact of the matter was that we got the team that India wanted and we didn't perform when the time came. That's the long and the short of it. That is my answer. I'm not sure right at this time is the moment to try and dissect it. We need to go and look at it from a distance that might give some perspective. There is no point making comments at an emotional time like this. At the end of the day, we didn't play well enough.

When India wakes up tomorrow, they will be disappointed. They will be angry with what has happened, and it is a disappointment. I hope that people realise that it is just a game, and the guys out there did their best. It wasn't good enough on this occasion

Are you concerned about the reactions back in India?
In the light of recent incidents, obviously you've got to be concerned. When India wakes up tomorrow, they will be disappointed. They will be angry with what has happened, and it is a disappointment. I hope that people realise that it is just a game, and the guys out there did their best. It wasn't good enough on this occasion. I think there are a number of things that need to be looked at to get a clear perspective about what has happened this week but I don't know if we're going to get any answers right at this moment other than to say we didn't play well.

Why did the team crumble? Are they unable to handle pressure?
There are a number of factors but I'm not going to try and put labels on it. Again, it's a very emotional time for a lot of people and any comment that is made can be misconstrued and made to sound worse than it actually is. I don't know I can say it, but we weren't good enough on the day.

Over the last 17 matches overseas, India have only played 50 overs on four occasions. Why is that?
We haven't played well enough.

But it's a period stretching over one and a half years...
We haven't played well enough, that's it.

Can you pin-point the reasons why they haven't batted well enough?
I don't think this is the forum for me to make any comment in that regard. There is a lot of emotion, as I said. In light of this and in light of recent events I am not going to be making any comments about what's wrong with anything or anybody.

Aren't you shirking your responsibility?
No I don't think so. I am not employed by you people, I am employed by the BCCI. Obviously, I will have to face up to them and give them a report and give them some indications of what I think. But I don't think this is the forum for me to say anything.

Another word that has been mentioned a lot is 'process'. What went wrong with the process?
That's an inflammatory question and I'm not prepared to answer it.

You said you are answerable to the BCCI. But aren't you also answerable to one billion fans in India? Shouldn't you say something to them?
We didn't play well enough.

That's all?
I don't know what else you want me to say? You want me to criticise somebody or a group of people? I am not prepared to do that. We didn't play well enough. We weren't able to play well enough under the conditions or the circumstances of the tournament. We didn't play well enough.



'I don't know if we can pick on any one person and say it their lack of form or lack of performance. As a group, we didn't play well enough © Getty Images

Why didn't we play well enough?
Well I don't think India has won a tournament overseas since 1985. There is a bit of history to it. There are obviously some reasons. I am not prepared to go into them at this stage.

How critical was [Sachin] Tendulkar's failure?
I don't think we can give the blame to one individual, or a group of individuals, in this case. Everyone goes out there and tries to play well. Nobody goes out there and tries to play badly. I don't know if we can pick on any one person and say it their lack of form or lack of performance. As a group, we didn't play well enough.

Did we pick the right team?
That's not for me to say. I was given a team and I was happy to work with the team.

How much responsibility are you willing to take?
Obviously I have to take some responsibility and I am quite happy to do that, I'm the coach. But I don't think the coaching staff alone must be blamed for what has happened here. The coaching staff and the support staff have worked very hard, the coaching staff haven't worked very hard. Apportioning blame is not going to change what has happened.

This is still India's worst performance in World Cup history. Is there a need for serious introspection?
I think there is a need for a serious introspection, but I don't think it should start today.

Do you think it's time for a change of guard?
That's an inflammatory question, and you know I can't answer that in this forum.

Are you taking anything from this World Cup?
A lot of disappointment. Again, I think if we look at this from a distance it will give better perspective than walking straight off the field on what has been a disappointing day, and one of the more disappointing days in India in cricket. I'm not sure we're going to come up with any answers that will solve any problems or change what has happened out there today. But, as I said in the last answer, it's time to sit down and take a serious look at what's happening and what's happened and see what may be done to improve things for the future.

Given a chance, would you like to stay with the Indian team?
I am not prepared to answer that question today. It's not my decision.

What if you are given a chance?
I haven't been given a chance. Given an opportunity, I will give an answer then.

Was there anything wrong with the planning?
I think the planning was fine, the preparation was good, but the execution on the day wasn't good enough. You've got to give some credit to Sri Lanka, they played well and they deserve their victory. We weren't able to execute the plan as we would have liked to. It happens. It's happened probably more often that it should have.

We didn't see the right body language after the Bangladesh match. Do you agree? Or do you think it would also be an inflammatory answer?
It would be an inflammatory answer. You are trying to put words in my mouth. They're not my words and they wouldn't be words I would like to use.

Do you agree the fire was missing?
The team was under pressure, I absolutely agree with that. I think that pressure did have a bearing with what happened out there today.

Are you going to go back with the Indian team or are you worried about your security?
I don't think any comment about that is going to help the situation. I'm quite confident that systems are in place to look after security of the team and the individuals involved.

You took over the team in July of 2005. How many points would you give yourself on a scale of 10?
Again, that's a very difficult question to answer. I'm happy that I've done the best job that I could do. Eighteen months is not a long time to build a team. If you look at any sport, it takes a long time. To put a number from my point of view, I don't think I am the right man to make that assessment. I am happy with myself. The coaching staff and the support staff did they best that they could do. It wasn't good enough.