Heavier bats changing the way youngsters bat: Chappell
The rapidly changing dynamics of cricket was bringing about some alterations in the way the game is played with various inherent intricacies getting rarer these days, former India coach Greg Chappell said today.
The Australian, who is touring various cities of the country on a talent search mission, said the weight of the willow was having a profound impact on the way youngsters played cricket.
"I have seen a predominant tendency among youngsters to use heavier bats which mean they become more of bottom-handed players," the former Australian captain said.
"This will make them push the ball more rather than hit it."
Chappell has had a look at close to 4,000 aspiring cricketers in the six cities he has visited so far, Jaipur being the final leg to be completed, also expected to see more quality young spinners than he actually did.
"Most of those we saw, interestingly, were left-arm finger spinners. There were very few off-spinners and leg-spinners," he said.
Chappell and his assistant Ian Frazer, the former bio-mechanist with the Indian team, selected five players from the almost 1,200 they saw at the Jamia Milia Islamia University.
The 24, who will be shortlisted from the seven cities, will undergo a 10-day coaching clinic starting March 21 at an academy in Jaipur under Chappell and Frazer with one of them getting a contract to play in the Rajasthan Royales Indian Premier League side in 2009.
"About 10-12 of the others will be selected for a six-month coaching camp to be conducted by the Rajasthan Cricket Association," Chappell said.
Chappell said the players were selected keeping in mind the demands of Twenty20 cricket, but should be able to adapt to other formats of the game as well.
"A good cricketer is a good cricketer, whatever the format. Thay should have a wider range of skills but would definitely have to be athletic, agile and adaptable.
"We will lay a lot of stress on fielding and running between the wickets," he said, adding the potential for improvement and physical growth were kept in mind while making the selections.
He said the players will be trained on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the game.
"Cricket is a game of failure and whoever learns to deal with them effectively and increases their chances of suceess, become good cricketers," the Aussie legend said.
Chappell said there was not much "extraordinary talent" available at the particular age-group and it was important to follow up after one coaching stint.
"One clinic cannot make a good cricketer. It needs to be an ongoing programme," he said.
Fraser said Indian boys were physically less mature than their counterparts in the same age group elsewhere.
"Diet is one important aspect. Physically they need more work. The body needs to stand up to the rigours,"he said.
Frazer pointed out that whoever is selected to play for the IPL team, will have the chance to play under spin legend Shane Warne.
"They will benefit greatly from the experience. It would be very exciting for them," he added.