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The Final Nail In Chappell's Coffin

It seems all is lost. India lost to Australia in the first round of its Champions Trophy clash and now the rumour mill is working overtime on the impending "divorce" between the BCCI and Greg Chappell.

Rediff, via the Courier Mail, reports that Chappell has secretly "agreed" to not seek a renewal of his contract when it expires after the 2007 World Cup. There is no mention of how this information was obtained or who it was solicited from. For all we know, it may simply have been a clerk or office boy who overheard a conversation and decided to sell his story.

We really should not be surprised, however. The BCCI does not like anyone, other than it's own office bearers, causing controversies in the media. You would be a rich man/lady if you got a dollar for every online forum poster that seeks to re-christen Chappell as Gregory "Controversy" Chappell. Question being, does Chappell instigate the "controversies" or is he a victim in the media's quest to sensationalise the most mundane of stories, in order to sell one more newspaper? I would say the the answer lies somewhere in between, but, heavily skewed toward the latter.

An inclination to be at the center of controversies allied with a string of poor performances against the best (and sometimes the not so good) teams is bound to land a coach's future in turmoil. However, I ask you, has Chappell really done that bad?

The team has now been rejuvenated after the Ganguly-Wright partnership. New blood was brought in and allowed to fail, prosper and shine. The oft maligned use of experimentation has given some players the opportunity to display skills that we would never have otherwise known they possessed. We have seen the blossoming of our most prominent player over the last 3-5 years, Rahul Dravid, as both player and captain.

Sure, some results have not been to our liking. How much of that is due to Chappell's shortcomings and how much is due to the players' faults/deficiencies? A coach cannot spark a player back into form, just like a coach is not responsible for a player losing his form. Is it the coach's fault that a many of his key players are never in good form simultaneously? I don't know, you tell me.

Sorry for 20 questions, but last one: what happens if India wins the World Cup in the Caribbean? I dear say, that is a conundrum we would love to have.

11 comments

Anonymous said...

nice blog. but why do you keep defending chapell? i have read your other posts also and you don't talk about the bad things he has done to the team.

Pratyush said...

If India wins the world cup in the Caribbean, very good. However, it cannot be vindication for poor moves of Chappell. Can we really justify Pathan at number three to give just on instance? Particularly in a tournament where batsmen were technically tested.

Maybe criticism of Chappell has been more than necessary but just as team wins result in applause for the captain, coach, players, team losses (for which moves or experiments - any way you want to term it), have played a part, will rightly be criticised.

The Enigma said...

@ Anon: I don't think he has done anything all that disastrous. That is why my opinion of his is a little more mellow than many others.

@ Pratyush: When you try different moves/experiments, as you have suggested, you won't always be successful. According to your theory, Dravid should be criticised equally. I am not sure that failed experiments are a justification for asking him to leave.

Then again, maybe they are not. Maybe he's already received a nod and a handshake to become Australia's next coach.

Pratyush said...

Yes I am not saying Dravid should not be criticised as the team management holds collective responsbility. Experiments will or will not work but there are some which people see logic behind while others make little sense. So the moves which apparently look to make little sense and do not pay off to quarters - they do have the right to criticise those moves.

I am not making the point regarding Chappell to step down. All I am saying is at points criticisms can be justified.

Pratyush said...

Also, this is unrelated to player forms and team wins/losses and moves can be bad or good regardless of player forms/team wins, losses.

The Enigma said...

@ Pratyush: Thanks for the clarification. You're absolutely right, Chappell should be critisised for some of his moves. No doubt about it.

X Factor said...

Pratyush, I dont think you were critizing Chappel when India were on a record run of 18 succesfull run chases. One of the key components to that was Pathan batting at three and the constant experimentation that was going on, were was the critisim then? It is about time that yourslef and your fellow cynics stopped jumping on and off the boat. Your either on or your not. That could go a long way to improving stability in Indian cricket.

Pratyush said...

Erm, Pathan at three on a pitch assisting bowlers didn't make cricketing sense as far as I am concerned. I am not jumping on or off the boat hey, just giving my views. I think you should stop jumping the gun.. ;)

The Enigma said...

Every one is entitled to criticise a public figure. However, Indian fans have had a habit of jumping on and off the bandwagon. You may not, and that is fair enough.

I think Pathan is a good enough batsman to bat at 3 in an ODI, irrespective of the conditions. He is more than a pinch-hitter , for mine, but a genuine all-rounder. Giving a young kid some extra responsibility is not a bad thing. The least it does, is show that nobody is getting a free ride in the team.

X Factor said...

Erm, from what i saw it was quite an alright batting track as the West Indies made light work of chasing the target, that is untill they cracked under pressure towards the end. Pathan has been averaging 30+ this year in ODI's, more than some Indian batsman. Maybe we should be critising the coach about giving non performing players a go, rather than having Pathan at 3, dont you reckon mate?

Pratyush said...

Pathan isn't averaging 30 plus in odis this year. He is averaging 22.53. The pitch in the particular Windies-India match you are describing wasn't a flat track and did require a specialist batsman to play as far I am concerned, say Dravid. Wickets put pressure on players coming in later and when Dhoni came in for instance late in the match, he had do play defensively early on as India could not afford to lose another wicket at that point.

Enigma - I agree some Indian fans jump on thebandwagon and am glad we understand each other here.

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