‘He spoilt his name,’ Mohammad Kaif on why Greg Chappell wasn’t as respected as John Wright
Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has explained the difference between the coaching styles of John Wright and Greg Chappell, the first two foreign coaches of the Indian cricket team.
Kaif, who played his cricket under both coaches, weighed in on the topic and feels Chappell would have been better off as India’s batting coach rather than taking charge of overall coaching duties, and that his inability to understand the Indian culture did not work in the best interests of the team.
Wright was appointed coach of the Indian cricket team from 2000 to 2005 and during his tenure India registered Test wins in England and Australia, won the famous Natwest Trophy final in 2002 and reached the final of the World Cup in South Africa a year later.
Chappell, who succeeded Wright had a turbulent tenure, with his fallout with then captain Sourav Ganguly becoming the centre of storm, and later with India’s dismal World Cup campaign in 2007, which saw them get eliminated from the group stage.
“Chappell could have been a good batting coach. But he spoilt his name, as he could not run the team properly, he couldn’t understand the Indian culture and lacked good man-management skills and hence didn’t prove to be a good coach,” Kaif told Times of India. “People respected John Wright because he coordinated well with the players and let Ganguly the captain to lead the team from the front.”
Kaif is not the first cricketer from that era who is not a fan of Chappell’s methods. Harbhajan Singh in the past called the former Australia cricketer “a man with a double face” and had recently termed the Chappell era as the “worst days of Indian cricket. This was after Chappell revealed that he groomed MS Dhoni by asking him to “play along the ground.”