Chappell happy to help
AS superstar allrounder Yuvraj Singh pleaded for the swift appointment of a new India coach, former mentor Greg Chappell revealed his pride and prejudice for the men in blue.
Chappell is still basking in the afterglow of India’s Twenty20 World Cup win, the inspired captaincy of protege Mahendra Singh Dhoni and vindication of his two-year youth program until resigning in April.
Former Australian skipper Chappell, 59, believes India is the “epicentre” of world cricket while its trial one-day leader Dhoni has the “potential to make a big difference” to the game here.
“All I know is that M S Dhoni is one of the most impressive young men that I have been involved with anywhere – not just in cricket,” said Chappell, who this week began an innovative consultancy role with Rajasthan Centre of Excellence in Jaipur.
“The job as captain of India is the toughest job in cricket. It will place demands on whoever is in that job that will at times wear them down.
“M S is a very strong man and I hope that he can survive all of that. It’s important to Indian cricket that people like him succeed.”
Asked if his team-mates required a coach, Yuvraj said: “You need somebody to control the boys and talk to them.”
Yet, Chappell declined to comment on the delayed appointment of a successor. He did express his joy at watching India’s five-hour, Twenty20 victory parade through the streets of Mumbai last Wednesday.
“I wasn’t surprised by their success,” Chappell said.
“I enjoyed watching the guys I had worked with have success. I enjoyed the youthful enthusiasm which was obvious with the way they were in the field. That is what you try and achieve as a coach,” he added.
Chappell is adamant he left India on his terms and not because of its dismal first round World Cup exit in the West Indies or fractured team unity.
“There were some issues highlighted at that time and comments made from all sorts of directions. I gave a report to the board at the end of my time here and saw out my contract,” he said.
“I decided against asking for an extension of that contract as I didn’t think it was in my best interests from a health and family view. It was probably better for Indian cricket for me to move on as well.
“The timing of my announcement was trying to take the emotion out of it.”
The former South Australian coach sort to fast track youngsters including Dhoni, allrounder Irfan Pathan and opener Dinesh Karthik and improve the side’s diabolical fielding which ruffled a few feathers.
“There is no point looking backwards or any one reason why things happened,” he said.
“Whilst the entire focus seems to be on the World Cup there were 22 other months where we developed young players, working on developing a team for the future.
“I am back working in cricket in India which I hope shows the world I have no ill feeling towards anyone in India or anywhere else,” Chappell added.
Chappell will set about a mass assessment of under-19 players for the Rajasthan Cricket Association over the next 14 weeks.