At the helm of the Indian team for almost two years, former coach Greg Chappell and his assistant Ian Frazer know the strengths, weaknesses, frailties and fortes of Indian players. And now, they might be using that information against their erstwhile team.
At a party in Jaipur on Wednesday night, Chappell seemed embittered by the India experience. Glass in hand, unfettered by BCCI restrictions, he lashed out at what he thought was the mismanagement of talent in India.
Sample this statement on Yuvraj. “I made him the player he is now,” said Chappell. “The guy was very reckless … I told him if he hit the ball in the air that would be that. He batted very well when I was in charge… look what’s happened to him now.”
The reference was to Yuvi’s lack of form and his not being picked for the Irani Cup.
Frazer, meanwhile, was taking Australian coach Tim Nielsen through the weaknesses of Indian batsmen. The former bio-mechanist, who has spent hours bowling to the Indian players at nets, kept it succinct. “The trick to get Sehwag is simple: roll your fingers over the ball, cut back on the pace and the guy is way too early into his shot.”
Though this isn’t classified information, the fact that the men once closely associated with the team, and still associated with a privately funded BCCI-affiliated cricket academy, are using that knowledge to the detriment of their former team, raises some tricky issues.
Asked whether coaches moving from one team to another also transferred information, Fraser, now a coach with the RCA, replied: “It is like European soccer. Obviously coaches will take information with them...” And it doesn’t bode well for the Indians, as they begin their quest to win back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.