Greg Chappell at it again
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Greg Chappell at it again

The Aussie takes potshots at India cricketers at a promotional event for Greg Chappell's book. Amol Karhadkar reports. Have book, will talk | Greg plays dirty

cricket Updated: Mar 08, 2012 02:36 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times

On a quiet Wednesday evening, the promotional event for Greg Chappell’s autobiography — Fierce Focus — was going according to the script at the Adelaide Writers’ Week till one of the 200-strong audience asked a question about Indian team’s apparent disinterest in Test cricket.

The one question set forth a tirade that few who heard it would forget, with overtones of racial prejudice and the spewing forth of convoluted views that were shaped during a tumultuous stint as India’s coach. Out went the anecdotes about his childhood days, he turned his attention on Indian cricket, and all that is wrong with the way the sport is played and administrated in the country.

He took his customary potshot at Saurav Ganguly, told why Virender Sehwag’s career won’t last much longer and even questioned the Indian psyche.

“It was obvious from the start of the tour that the Indians weren’t really interested in Test cricket. After the Australians showed that they were going to be a formidable foe, I was very disappointed in the Indians,” Chappell said. “And having worked with many of them , Test cricket was too hard for most of them. They can only make a lot of money playing 20-over cricket. Fifty-over cricket they can sort of put up with. Test cricket is pretty tough for them. Without the kind of grounding that we (Australians) had as kids, Test cricket is too hard for them.”

He also said that the 33-year-old opener is closer to the end of his career than most would think. "Sehwag was never going to last as long as the other guys in any case because was never fit enough."

Chappell also said that his term as the India coach came to an abrupt end because of the attitude of the players. “At the end of the two-year period, I sat down with the administrators, who were quite keen for me to carry on. But when I quizzed them about their intentions, it was obvious that they weren’t going to call a day on a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid or a VVS Laxman,” he said.

“They wanted me to discipline the players. They wanted me to drop Sehwag when I wasn’t a selector. It wasn’t my responsibility. I mean, the difficulty for me as the coach was that Sehwag just sat there and said: “Greg, they’re not going to drop me. So why would I work harder than I’m working now?”

First Published: Mar 08, 2012 00:15 IST