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Chappell tries out 'six-hat' theory

Psychologist Edward De Bono's theory, being experimented by Chappell, is a tool to streamline mind and unclutter it.
PTI | By Ashish Shukla (PTI), Colombo
PUBLISHED ON AUG 04, 2005 09:32 PM IST

Halfway through the triangular series, India's new coach Greg Chappell is left wondering whether the six-hat De Bono theory is making any impact on his wards.

The theory envisages the use of six different coloured hats to streamline performance but India's show in the first three matches has proved that they still have a long way to go before they can achieve desired results.

Chappell no longer needs the white hat of information which tells about the strengths and weaknesses of his or Sri Lankan team. Even a 10-year-old in the stands now knows it.

He can only look at the yellow hat of benefits with longing in his eyes. As for the red and blue hats, which signify emotions and control thinking, it is not a stage of panic yet.

However, problems and solutions, or black and green hats in the world of famous psychologist Edward De Bono, are a different matter.

De Bono and his six-hat theory, being experimented by Chappell on Indian cricketers, is a tool to streamline mind and unclutter it.

The next few days could either convert Indian cricketers totally to this philosophy or Chappell would have to find some other way to engage his wards in the mind theories.

He has embraced De Bono and his six-hat theory for a purpose. He wants to engage cricketers to look at the issue of information (white hat), benefits (yellow), problems (black) and solutions (green) in an organised manner collectively. The rest of the two hats, red (emotions) and blue (to go from one hat to another) are only supplementary tools.

He hopes to involve everyone on an issue and even the junior-most are encouraged to speak in the team meetings. The reaction among the team members to this philosophy varies from being enthusiastic to contemptuous but then a new philosophy always evokes doubt and skepticism.

Wearing black hat, the problems are easily identifiable. India's batsmen are wasting good starts; Virender Sehwag is not prepared to go for the grind; fifth bowler is an issue and the fielding is average.

The Sri Lankans are posing problems with their bowling; their multi-dimensional cricketers and have gained confidence that even without their top cricketers, they can match this Indian outfit.

Once Chappell wears green hat for solution, he can see that the senior Indian batsmen are not cajoling the younger ones enough to finish the innings on a high note.

Sri Lankans have a good set of bowlers and sooner or later some batsmen would be assigned the task to take them on. It could be Sehwag, Ganguly, Laxman, Yuvraj or even Suresh Raina.

Their batsmen must always be attacked for trying to bowl defensively doesn't work with them in these conditions. And as Chappell emphasises, the new batsman at the crease must not be afforded easy runs.

It was precisely this slip up on Wednesday, when Sri Lanka at one stage were hanging by the thread on 95 for six, which cost India a definite win.

Chappell's biggest task at the moment is to see the boys don't panic. As it is, they are insecure about Chappell's belief to cast the net wide and look for alternatives. When a certain Anil Kumble can be held back in reserves, reputation alone would not work with the great Australian.

In the next week or so, one would know more about how Chappell confronts the issues which have dogged Indian cricket for years and about which he now has the first-hand experience.

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