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Greg Chappell praises Anil Kumble, blasts Sourav Ganguly

India Today logo India Today 27-06-2016

Former coach Greg Chappell has given thumbs up to the appointment of Anil Kumble as the head coach of Indian cricket team, terming it an 'inspired choice.'

Kumble piped 56 other candidates including the likes of former Team India director Ravi Shastri and Australia great Tom Moody on his way to become the head coach. The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman decided in favour of Kumble after interviewing shortlisted candidates.

Chappell said India's Test captain Virat Kohli is lucky to have Kumble around in the dressing room.

"Virat Kohli is lucky to have a man of Kumble's undoubted strengths as his ally. It will be a powerful partnership that I expect will serve India well," Chappell wrote in his column for The Hindu.

Chappell was optimistic that Kumble, with whom he had closely worked during his tenure as India coach between 2005 and 2007, would take the back seat and support Kohli. The former Australia batsman said the captain-coach partnership in cricket is very different from other sports and went on add why he thinks Kumble and Kohli will forge a successful combination.


"In cricket it is a joint venture off the field, but on the field, the captain must be the boss and must be seen as the boss by his players or his authority will be undermined.

"Kumble knows this and will work closely with and support Virat without undermining him. Virat on the other hand will continue to be a good role model for his group as he works hard on all aspects of his game."


While heaping praise on Kumble, the controversial former India coach hit out at the cricketing culture in the country saying the teams in the past had not worked hard but took short-cuts.

Also read: Chappell v Ganguly, and other coach against captain wars

"Indian cricket has never reached the heights that it should because it has relied too much on natural ability and flair rather than diligent preparation. Too often in the past, Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than work hard so any success has been fleeting."

Adding his appointment in 2005 was focussed to bring about a change in the set-up, Chappell took a dig at Ganguly indicating the former India captain failed to cooperate and lead by example.


It is common knowledge that Ganguly shared a frosty relationship with Chappell. Ganguly, like always, lashed out at Chappell before the start of the coach's selection process. At a media interaction days before the final interviews, Ganguly said he wouldn't dare to repeat the mistake he made back in 2005. Notably, it was the then captain Ganguly who had thrown his weight behind Chappell for India coach role.

However, Chappell went on to prefer Dravid over Ganguly and the left-hander was even dropped from the ODI side.

"I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005. I'm given that opportunity again. Hopefully we will do it correctly this time," Ganguly said.

Chappell hit back by saying that the Indian skippers who tried to lead from the front were failed by lack of support from key team members.

"This has rarely happened in India's cricket history. Pataudi, Dravid and Kumble are the exceptions. They tried to lead by example, but failed because they either didn't have enough talent or didn't get the support they needed from key individuals," he said.


Chappell opined that Kumble's fighting spirit might not be able to save the Indian team if the leg-spinner didn't get support from all the key stakeholders in the team.

"The level of expectation that has greeted Kumble's appointment borders on unrealistic so, unless he gets the support of all of the key stakeholders, it may prove to be too much even for his indomitable spirit."

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