'We need to give young players chance'

With five seniors on the wrong side of 30, Greg Chappell wants to try out new talent to keep "regenerating" the team so that there is no vacuum when they quit.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 14:47 IST

With five senior Indian players on the wrong side of 30, coach Greg Chappell wants to try out "new talent, new blood, new enthusiasm" to keep "regenerating" the team so that there is no vacuum when they quit.

"You can't afford to have the same group together for too long because most of the problems that most teams face from time to time is that if you have four or five players who are going to finish around the same time, you are going to have problems," Chappell said.

Without taking the names of captain Rahul Dravid (33 years), Sachin Tendulkar (32), Sourav Ganguly (33), VVS Laxman (31) and Anil Kumble (35), who have all played most of their international cricket by now, he stressed that India would have to keep replacements ready at all times— especially considering the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

"I think it (batting) is probably more established than the bowling. But we have got some young players in the one-day squad. You've got to keep moving on at all stages. If you are standing still, you are going backwards really," said Chappell, now in Pakistan on a 45-day tour.

A former Australia captain, Chappell said that youngsters needed to be tried out constantly. "You've got to keep looking for new talent, new blood, new enthusiasm to bring into the squad."

He said that all countries have similar situations.

"And it's one thing that the selection panel has to be aware of at all times. You can't allow a situation like that to develop; you've got to keep bringing in young players into the side for a number of reasons— not least of all to regenerate the enthusiasm and the energy in a team," he pointed out.

"And that's something that over the years as a selector, as an administrator, as a player and as a coach, I have got to know very well that you've got to keep looking to move forward. If you are standing still or looking backwards you are in trouble."

When pointed out that he was hinting at mostly batting pillars, Chappell said: "Yeah, we have got quite a few, so it's a very important management process over the next few years— to make sure that other players are given opportunities, that we keep building the strength and the youth of the team and the energy of the team."

Himself a classical batsman, Chappell said that instilling vigour and vitality in the team was vital.

"It's very important to keep regenerating teams. We are going through a period at the moment where we need to look at regenerating the group that we have got; keep building for the present, but also keeping an eye on the future."

The tight itinerary is not helping matters. India played three back-to-back Test matches against Pakistan here that left them drained before the five-match one-day series started.

"It's tough; it's tough on everyone. There is constant and a lot of pressure on the bowlers— three Test matches in a row— particularly in conditions like this that have been very hard for bowlers," he said.

"We have to be aware of the fact that you need depth, bench strength in all areas, particularly in bowling because you can't ask bowlers to keep backing up Test match after Test match."

In the upcoming home series against England, India will again play three back-to-back Tests besides seven one-dayers.

"We've got back to back Test matches against England and the West Indies. It's hell of a workload for the bowlers. You need to have depth so that you can manage the assets and keep the bowlers fresh," he said.

"Without rest days, and without rest between Tests matches, it really is tough. Bowlers, they get injury problems or little niggles that they need to work on - and they often need time— and back-to-back Test matches don't give you very much time."

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 13:33 IST