'India is a big part of our plans'

Australian cricket vying for talent with other sports, says Chappell

'India is a big part of our plans'

Greg Chappell may have been left a touch disappointed as heavy showers put an end to the day’s proceedings, denying the touring Australian National Performance Squad a good deal of practice against a National Cricket Academy XI at KSCA’s Alur facilities on Friday afternoon. 

The former Australian captain has brought the Aussie squad — which began its two-week stint here with the first of two four-day matches on Thursday — and reckons the experience in India is vital for the overall development of his players.

“For the modern players to get the opportunity to play here and develop their game on these wickets, particularly against spin bowling, and for our spinners to get a chance to bowl in these sort of conditions... So India is a big part of it,” Chappell told Deccan Herald. 

“There is a limit to what we can do in training environment; it’s difficult to replicate exactly what happens in the match. So for them to get a chance to play in these conditions is an important part of their development,” he reasoned.

Chappell, after his stint as a National selector, has been concentrating on nurturing talent. “This is the ongoing programme for the development of next generation of Australian cricketers,” he pointed out.

“We try and give them as much as possible — the playing experience in different conditions against different oppositions. Australia A have been doing it in South Africa and England for the last 18 months or so and this (tour) is the extension (of that).

We have had these academy programmes at the Centre of Excellence now and the National Cricket Centre programmes have been there for the last 25 years. The programme includes quite a bit of match time, playing time in different parts of the world and India, or for that matter the sub-continent, is a big part of it,” he explained.

The former India coach, who is also Australia’s National Talent Manager, feels Australia today are facing several challenges to keep their talent group rolling. “There are various challenges and I think cricket in Australia competes with a number of sports for the best talent,” he noted. 

“We don’t get the best athletes by default. Many other sports are trying to get hold of the same talent. We have got and have had (top athletes) for the last 20 years of professional cricket in Australia and that in itself is a challenge because players want to keep playing longer.

I don’t blame the players for wanting to play as long as they can but you have to have a system that is robust enough to keep rolling the talent and make sure the next group of talent is getting opportunities to play.

That probably is the biggest challenge we have and that’s the biggest challenge in my role as the National Talent Manager -- in identifying and managing that talent through the system and making sure these young guys are getting enough opportunities to develop.”

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