Thursday, 8 March 2012

Greg Chappell attacks Indian culture and cricket team

ADELAIDE: In a vicious attack on Indian culture and Indian cricket team of which he was the coach, Greg Chappell has said that the side lacked leaders because parents, school teachers and coaches made all the decisions in the Indian system.

"The (Indian) culture is very different, it's not a team culture. They lack leaders in the team because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions, their schoolteachers make their decisions, their cricket coaches make the decisions," Chappell said.

"The culture of India is such that, if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility.

"The Poms (British) taught them really well to keep their head down. For if someone was deemed to be responsible, they'd get punished. So the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for any decisions, they prefer not to," Chappell was quoted as saying during a promotional event for his book 'Fierce Focus'.

Chappell said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was an exception to that rule but even he seems to have lost to the system.

"Dhoni is one of the most impressive young men that I have ever worked with. When he came into that Indian team, you just knew that he was a leader in the making. He was definitely someone who could make decisions, and he didn't mind putting his head above the parapet, and didn't mind putting the bigger players in their place. I think he is the best thing to have happened to Indian cricket in recent times," he said.

Chappell, who was the coach of Indian team for two turbulent years from 2005 to 2007, reckoned that excessive cricket has now started taking a toll on Dhoni.

"But looking at him on this tour - I didn't meet or speak to him at all - but just watching the body language and just watching him on the field, it wasn't the MS Dhoni that I knew. I think Indian cricket has worn him down as well.

"Especially, captaining all three formats, and India plays about 50 per cent more cricket than Australia does. And Dhoni played four years, captaining three years while being wicketkeeper and their key batman - one of the best chasers of a target that I've ever seen," he said.

The former Australian captain also said that the Indians appeared disinterested in Test cricket during the just-concluded disastrous tour Down Under.

"It was obvious from the start of the tour that the Indians weren't really interested in Test cricket," Chappell said.

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