India should have had succession plans in place: Trevor Chappell

India should have had succession plans in place: Trevor Chappell

It’s been more than 30 years since Trevor Chappell sent down that infamous under-arm delivery in an apparent bid to deny New Zealand the victory in a one-day match, but the incident just refuses to fade away.

Trevor Chappell. DH photo

“I have tried to move on,” says the youngest of the Chappell brothers when you quiz him about the delivery that he ‘bowled’ at his captain-brother Greg’s suggestion. “I have tried to forget that episode, but people keep reminding me about that. I have learned not to get upset or angry when people ask me about that delivery because if I do, I am the one who is going to get hurt. It was (under-arm bowl) very much within the laws of the game but definitely not in the spirit of the game,” remarks the Australian who is here as a coach of the Singapore national squad. 

Coming from a country that has a hard-nosed approach towards sports in general, Chappell says coaching a team like Singapore has been really challenging.

“Yeah, it is very frustrating (because of) the casual sort of approach,” he notes. “Even the club-level (cricket) in Australia is not casual and it is intense and am sure it is the same in India. The difference in attitude and intensity is noticeable.”

His older brother, Greg, had a rather tumultous stint as the coach of the Indian side because of his approach. “I know a little about Greg’s sort of thinking on cricket….” he said. “He was involved with the Australian selection when Katich was gone and there were a few changes made which were not popular. But everything is working alright now. Same sort of thing happened with the Indian situation. Greg’s thinking is ‘it’s a young person’s game and you have to be looking ahead.’

“That sort of Australian idea — where you are not picking the team for today’s series, but you are sort of looking for a few series ahead and where you want the team to be then — it obviously means end of careers for a few that is not going to be all that popular with players. Then there is going to be conflict between selectors, coaches and players,” he tries to reason.  
The Australian feels India might be now paying for their lack of succession plans. “It has been a bit disappointing,” he says of India’s performance Down Under.

“Obviously the batting has been disappointing and age factor must be something to do with it. It is hard to say what the case is — whether it is good bowling or bad batting or a combination of both. But it is going to be hard for guys over 35 and particularly in Australia where there is bit more pace and bounce in the wicket and they can find you out.

“They (Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar) are still good players. (But) 3 or 4 years ago they were a bit younger and their reflexes a bit better. You got to be looking not just what is happening today but two or three seasons ahead. Australia took the decision to drop Simon Katich at the start of this season which wasn’t a popular decision. But probably now everybody has forgotten about that because the way things have turned out. He was unlucky for sure because he was in good form and he was batting well but his age was the main factor. The fact that Ponting with over 35 and Hussey around about same age, they didn’t want to get caught with three guys in top six with over 35. So they brought in a few younger guys. Ponting set the critics back a bit and Hussey, who was also under pressure, has got some runs as well. For Australia it has worked and for India it has not,” he explains.