Warning against any "band-aid" solutions to the ills afflicting Indian cricket, Greg Chappell has taken parting shots at the country's cricket establishment, saying, "if you want to be like Australia, you can't run cricket like Zimbabwe".
The former Australian captain, who quit as India's coach earlier this week, called for sweeping changes to the existing system and "changing mindsets". Any half-measures or cosmetic changes "at this stage would be like putting band-aid on cancer".
"If you want to be like Australia, you can't run your cricket like Zimbabwe. The BCCI must adopt, maybe a ten-year plan, spelling out the aims and objectives and go about attaining those goals in a professional manner," Chappell said in an interview to 'Times of India'.
Chappell said BCCI needed to look at the selection process and advocated the need to have paid selectors with an excellent background.
"It should be right there at the top of the agenda as its critical to the team's performance... I still maintain they must have maybe four full-time selectors with an excellent background in the game and they should be paid to do the job."
"Along with the coach, they should be made accountable. The coach and the captain must also have a larger say in the selection matters," he said.
Asked what went wrong with the senior players, Chappell said, "I don't want to get into senior-junior issue again. Look, as a player you have to keep challenging yourself. When that stops, its time to do a quick reality check and take a few hard decisions." More
Chappell said that building a team was a never ending process and the Indian team was a far better side than what results are shown in recent times.
"Team building is a never ending process. You have to keep at it all the time. We are a much better side than what our results have shown in recent times.
Some of the junior players are not finished products yet. Its important that the development continues so that they are ready to take on bigger challenges," he said.
Speaking about individual players in the Indian team, the former Australian captain singled out Suresh Raina for special praise, saying he was a "complete package".
"I think he (Raina) had paid dearly for the few good words I have said about him. Unfortunately, as a coach I do not measure success and failures by applying general yardsticks. In my book as also in the book of few others, he is a special kid."
Other points made by Chappell:
On why he rates Raina highly: "He is a complete package, for gods sake. You guys did not do him a good turn by comparing him with Sachin Tendulkar after he had played one or two brilliant knocks... He is still learning and far from being mature."
On why Tendulkar should not open: "In ODIs, opening is an easier option. I felt that the team would benefit immensely if Sachin came in at number 4 for he can milk the bowling.
On Sreesanth: "He is ready. We have had to work hard on him, dropped him for the Champions Trophy because he was losing focus but now he has sorted all that out and is bowling with a lot of fire."