Post Mortem Part 1: Chappell

Now that some of the raw emotion unleashed at having had our nose rubbed in the ground by Bangladesh and our asses whooped by Sri Lanka has slowly dissipated, it is time for some analysis.

I have observed a persistent tone in some comments on my previous posts: that being that I am perpetually critical of Greg Chappell because I have an axe to grind with the man for his pro-active (to put it mildly) role in the removal of “Bong icon” Sourav Ganguly. So let me, in clear words, with no trace of sarcasm that may be misunderstood, try to explain why I think Chappell has been an unmitigated disaster for this Indian team.

As we all know, Chappell has always been a proponent of “current performance” and not past records. Great. Now let us apply his own criterion on him.

What were Chappell’s job responsibilities?

As a coach, he was primarily responsible for the technical aspects of the team’s performance. Even seasoned stars, who you would think are finished products, develop chinks in their armour and it was Greg Chappell’s job to see either personally or through delegation, that such problems, when and where they appear, were rectified.

Now the facts. Sehwag developed severe batting problems under his watch, much more serious than just a loss of form. Irfan Pathan atrophied away. Sourav Ganguly did some running repairs on his game, but after he was removed from the Chappell influence, forcibly. In other words, Greg Chappell has presided over the cricketing degeneration of some of our most talented players, a loss that cannot be explained by advancing years.

People might say that the blame for this lies with the players –it is unfair to castigate Greg Chappell for it. Perhaps. But Chappell was responsible, in the wording of his designation as a “coach”, for their technical performances and making excuses (some of them valid) for his failure would be something that Chappell himself, if we take his professed ruthlessness at face value, would not condone.

What I mean is that if Chappell was judging some batsman’s performance and the batsman concerned transferred the blame of his poor scores, perhaps justifiably, to his partner running him out a few times, getting impossible deliveries, having miraculous catches taken off him, poor umpiring decisions, too much pressure when he came to bat, bad state of the pitch —would Chappell say “I understand that” or would he say “Sorry. Tough luck. You are ultimately responsible for your own performance. Kindly leave the excuses for your mom”?

The second job responsibility of the coach is the formulation of tactics. Whether it be being part of a patently wrong decision of batting first on a green pitch or unimaginative field placings or the lack of any kind of surprise moves at crucial junctures, Chappell has little to point to as proof of having made a positive contribution as a strategist. Besides of course all that manic shuffling of the batting order: which is often sometimes the easiest way to show some tactical “activity”.

The third job responsibility was man management and creating a cohesive unit. I do not need to mention what a pathetic failure this man has been in that respect. It would have been bad enough had he simply been a passive observer of team dissent. But no, Chappell was himself as an active participant. Just a look at the way the late Bob Woolmer handled a much more volatile bunch of individuals in neighbouring Pakistan should be enough to convince how bad Chappell was. Emotional, angry and taking himself way too seriously, whether in showing the Calcutta crowd the middle finger or barking at reporters during the post-defeat press conference as if it was he who was the aggrieved one, Greg Chappell left no doubt as to how in times of stress, he became part of the problem than a part of the solution.

And finally motivation. The famous locker room speeches. The rousing background music.

Well at least he tried.

The evening started with medium-fast bowler Sreesanth occupying the centre-stage. Sreesanth’s brother Dipu Santhan had penned and his brother-in-law, Madhu Balakrishnan, a singer in South, had sung a song for Team India-“Jago India” in a video format.

In the video, one of the shots depict a young poor kid, with no cloth to cover his emaciated frame, holding the Indian tricolour and chanting the name Team India.

After the song was screened, coach Greg Chapell addressed the team and asked them to compare the scene with the picture of that old lady who was trying to climb over Wagah border to watch India play Pakistan in a cricket match.

Chappell, while comparing the two visuals, asked every member of the Indian team to remember that there are people in the country who despite their deprivations still support the Indian team with passion and spirit.

Chappell asked the team members to try and play Friday’s game for countless similar Indians who back the team even when they are struggling with their own daily existence.

Chappell then coined a special slogan for the team’s Friday’s clash.

Chappell called it “Let’s do it for each other.

Maybe the cricketers heard “Let’s do it to each other”. We cannot say. But I give Greg marks for trying. As also for doing a mean Bhangra.

However this is not the first time that Chappell has failed miserably. ICC Champion’s Trophy. Malaysia. The list goes on. However each time we lost, we were told to look elsewhere: at this mythical process that Chappell had got going: a process by which individuals would be replaced by team-players, success and success only would be King and most importantly universal and objective standards would be applied for celebrity and neophyte alike.

This we were told was what Vision 2007 was and armed with management-speak, pyschobabble and De Bono’s hats, Chappell was able to convince many that the chronic losses were irrelevant, player burn outs were inevitable —everything had to forgiven at the altar of the “process” and some pain had to be endured (kind of like how you know that Clearasil is working only when your pimples start tingling) for the land of milk and honey that lay ahead.

This was putting it simply the greatest trick Chappell ever pulled.

Through this hot air about “process”, Chappell had created a masterful “Sikhandi”: if you criticized Chappell, you were criticizing the “process” and the “Aussie” attitude we solely needed. And once the smoke and mirrors of the “process” was firmly in place (with the help of some friends in the media), Greg and his acolytes (principally Kiran More) were left free to pursue battles of personal vendetta and agendas of a political nature. In the process, they subverted the very principles of objectivity and impartiality on which the rational process they claimed to believe in was based on.

Exemplifying. The problem with Chappell was not with his recommendation to drop Sourav Ganguly. It was with him making unsubstantiated statements like ” Sourav faked injury” or engaging in innuendo of the form: “Being captain is essential for Sourav’s finances”. In other words, while the process should dictate dropping a person based on poor performance, it should have nothing to do with dragging that person’s reputation through mud. But when did Greg give two hoots for any process?

The concept existed purely for his convenience.

And now this.

Beleaguered coach Greg Chappell was not happy with the composition of the Indian cricket team for the World Cup, it was revealed today.

Before leaving for the West Indies, Chappell, in an SMS to an Indian journalist Rajan Bala, claimed that senior players in the side resisted the inclusion of younger players and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar sided with the seniors fearing a media backlash in case the young guns failed to fire.

“Even in the last selection meeting, I fought for youth. The senior players fought against it and the chairman went with them out of fear of media, if youth did not perform,” Chappell wrote in his SMS to Bala.

This message was sent to the writer on the morning of the one-day international against Sri Lanka at Visakhapatnam on February 17.

In the same SMS, the Australian observed young stumper-batsman Dinesh Kaarthick had leadership material.

“Kaarthick will be a very good batsman and by the way, he is a potential leader. You are also very right about Yuvi,” Chappell said.

The coach was referring to the Bala’s article in which he had not been very complimentary about Yuvraj Singh.

The writer had written “He might or might not develop to be the country’s best future batsman, but let it be known that the possibility of his not being fully fit during the World Cup cannot be discounted. It is a risk that is being taken.

“The problem with Yuvraj is that he believes he is a star when he is only a rising one.”

Chappell had also confided with the writer that “Suresh Raina is a must. But he was not wanted.”

What kind of process lets the coach of the national team get away, with no censure, by make uncharitable remarks about the people he manages to a press contact? Definitely not the same process by which Rahul Dravid ticks off Sourav Ganguly for getting a SMS from a reporter, where Ganguly was not, in any way, saying anything uncomplimentary about a player or divulging team divisions.

But the most regrettable legacy of Greg Chappell , more than the World Cup defeat or the myopic Vision 2007, is that he has given a few of India’s former cricketers (many of whom peddle their words of wisdom on television channels) a whip to flog foreign coaches with. I saw recently a program on CNN-IBN when the clown, currently known as Krish Srikkanth, worked the audience up with “We need an Indian coach. No more foreign coach” and the audience, in the throes of more than mild xenophobia, applauded and joined voices.

It is transparent to most of us that the reason the Yashpal Sharmas and the Kirti Azads and assorted other has-beens keep harping on Greg Chappell’s “foreign-ness”, as if that is the reason for why he is such a failure, is that these people want the job. And as the crowd falls under the charm of this kind of faux patriotism, what is forgotten is that India’s greatest coach was a foreigner too, a humbler, kinder man than the one who currently occupies the post. A man who performed, a man who took a team ravaged by match fixing and made it, along with Dada, into a formidable fighting unit. A man, who was not without emotion or faults (he once grabbed Sehwag by the collar) but did not send furtive SMS-s to his plants in the media cribbing about his wards or go out of his way to humiliate a player whom he did not want in the team.

Unless his replacement is even worse, once Greg Chappell goes, we may hope that Indian cricket takes a turn for the better .

But what to do about the real culprits for Indian cricket’s decline, the ones who cannot be removed, for whom Indian cricket is a money-making and favour-distributing opportunity, those who are immune to any form of accountability?

We shall talk about them in my next post.

123 thoughts on “Post Mortem Part 1: Chappell

  1. Chappell looks to be the most popular effigy this season.

  2. Let the market forces work….with a declining team like this, eventually people will lose interest in cricket and the players their endorsements….and hopefully Indian cricket will travel the full circle.

  3. Greg Chappell sure knows how to use the media to his advantage. First the “leaked email” about Sourav and now this “cover my ass against all eventualities” SMS.

    Nevertheless, if Indian cricket has to continue as the cash cow for all parties, some amount of real catch-up needs to be done, and all the beneficiaries know that and will surely do the needful. It will be interesting to see how much actual good will be done in the midst of all the cover-my-ass’es and see-I-had-told-you’s that are currently flying about.

    Some valid points that I see in the midst of the overreactions are:

    1. Mr Chappell’s strategies dont seem to work well with the Indian psyche, and it might be time for him to move on.

    2. Some of the “experienced” members are past their shelf-life, and if they dont go out on their own accord, they will be ousted unceremoniously. The list includes Sourav & Anil.

    3. John Wright is sucking up real hard from the commentary box, and it wont be a surprise if he is back at the cushy job where you can get away with mediocrity by taking credit for unexpected success and making shady allusions to zonal politics etc to explain away failure. And if you have a controversy ridden tenure, more copies of your memoirs get sold !

  4. it would be for the best of india to remove chappell, the egoistic idiot, and bring back john wright and as jadeja also remarked, bring back saurav as captain with yuvi/sehwag as his deputy for say one year or so with lots of youngsters in the team… throw out anil and get chawla… allow sachin to go out in a decent way perhaps after getting a couple more of his “Favorite” Centuries against bangladesh…… and once a very good team slowly get rahul and saurav out of the team and allow them to move out with dignity…
    pls dont even think of indian coaches who again are gonna bring in their own politics and zonal priorities……… how abt getting john buchanan as the coach 😀

  5. Nice, thougtful post!!

    Although many chhappelites are screaming it is the players who play on the field , and what can a poor coach do, here is my take:

    Chappel even takes the credit for return of SG as one of his “personal success stories”, so why he should not take the blame for the failure of the team on which he is coaching (read, experimenting with)!

    About the SMS, it was all pre-planned. This is the thing I was anticipating. I was waiting for Chappal to start cry hoarse and accusing everyone from board and all. He has started. Waiting for crookinfo to sing the chappel choire now.

  6. What kind of coach is GC who can sent defamatory SMS on the eve of a crucial match? These double standards still exist in Indian cricket as it were in late 2005.

    A desi coach is the talk of the town and I’ll not be surprised if either Sandeep Patil, Anshuman Gaekwad or Jimmy Amarnath was appointed. Whether or not that would be fruitful time will tell. Till then waiting for your next post.

  7. @greatbong: Not sure if I agree with your thoughts completely. Irrespective of Uncle Chappell’s track record with the Indian team – there are several other spokes in the wheel that have contributed to him being painted as one of the key catalysts (in the negative sense) for the team’s failure. Some pointers as to why I think ANY coach for India will continue to be powerless and ineffective

    1. Every player in the team – starting from experienced ‘been there, done that’ maestros to jackasses who have just go into the team have godfathers of dubious reputations outside of the team. Sample the removal of Parthiv Patel rankling and also rekindling the “gujju pride” and which in turn led to voracious and injured protests of ‘unfair treatment’ being given to the Gujurat as a state

    2. Politicians: Its an open secret that every politician who seems a politician has a say in the state selections, national selctions, cricket boards and what not. Haven’t we all seen countless cricketers in our neighbourhood, schools and colleges who for some strange reason never get to the top? And some who do vanish again without even a passing mention (Praveen Amre, Anyone?)

    3. TOI/ Coke/ Pepsi: Their propensity to make a mountain out of a molehill just to get people drink and read (both junk – one drink and another content) is amazing. All this makes even a rank 14th man in the team almost like a demi-god.

    4. Resturants: Get into the indian team and Presto! all the cricketers are more concerned about opening restuarants!! Why not Gym? why not cricketing academies? Why not a school for a blind? Just cannot understand the gastronomic connection between getting into the Indian team and starting a restuarant. When I am more concerned about Zaheer’s and Tendulkars and Ganguly’s menu – why should I be bothered about mindless physical excercises disctated by the coach in the morning?

    Just 4 points; I am sure there are 20 more; all this leads to the players thinking that they are in a different plane; if things go tough – hey! Sharad Pawar or Amar Singh’s cell number is alwayas there, right! Imagine what can a coach do in these circumstances? The dravid – sachin – ganguly blowoff was more of a symptom and nothing to do with any hidden agendas. I do not agree that Chappel can be so bad in his credentials

  8. I should counter greatBong’s spin on Chappell.

    After having followed the cricket posts on this site for a while now I’m quite convinved that GB is yet another parochial Bengali who likes to whine when Dada is out of the team and blaming Chappell, instead of simply accepting that Sourav was simply not good enough as a batsman at that point.

    For instance, I checked the archives of this blog to see if there were any real comments about Indian cricket during their best times (the 17 match winning streak).

    Instead, what I got is this or this, this or this.

    A coach’s methods are not public exhibits. They are for the dressing room and the field. GB seems to have very intimate knowledge of all the aspects of “the process” he is analyzing about … Of course the quality of this analysis is for everyone to see.. In the current blame-game, anything will sell to the fans of this site…

    John wright really did not have any kind of public face.. He was a very shy person even in the media briefings… Everyone knew Dada controlled the show there, and now GB makes him the “greatest coach”!!

    I agree that a honest assessment of the team’s performance will point a finger to some of the problems in the coaching area — but don’t mistake this article to be one.. It is just another hate message disguised in some “smart” analysis…

    Grow up, GB!!

  9. I am wondering if the system defeated Chappell or was he one of the biggest scammers India ever saw (Chacha Chappel chaarso bees has a nice alliterative ring to it :-)). After some initial success both Woolmer & he seem to have lost their ‘touch’ (though a case could be made that in GC’s case it was more circumstantial than Woolmer’s well-earned defeat of India). Chappell of 2007 was much reduced from the one who in the winter of 2005 took public pangas with the reigning king. Both Pakistan & India seem to be going for native-born coaches & I have my doubts if even without the new-found nationalism, any non-subcontinent coach want to be attached to either team?

  10. Great post GB – all the points are bang on target. Sometimes I feel that Woolmer/ Chappell knew for themselves that they were not doing a good job – but just hung around for money and breach of contract.

    Just to add few facts – Chappell was selected twice for India, in 2000 the remuneration did not work out, so John Wright came in. The 2005 selection committee was comprised of Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and Venkataraghvan. And he was selected over Tom Moody (the present Srilanka coach), Haynes and Mohinder Amarnath. Just wondering what criteria BCCI might use for selection of the next coach.

  11. To be fair, there is nothing wrong in trying out a well-thought-out and researched process, despite the cynicism that such a ‘management funda’ kinda concept invokes in a majority of folks. However, nothing’s ever gonna work in any case where such processes are not based on a foundation of trust – such as in this case. When GC’s behavior seems to constantly indicate an alternate personal agenda, no process, however good it is on paper, is going to fly. I mean, how many of us have seen such episodes in our own work lives?

    I also think there is no point in debating the Indian or Foreign issue on the nationality of coaches. Gone are the days (pretty much) when things ‘phoren’ were differentiated from the desi – be they perfumes, chocolates, cigarettes or cricket coaches. In the kind of world we live in today (increasingly so), these ways of thinking are quickly losing relevance. We simply must look for the best person for the job. It remains to be seen if the concerned administrative decision makers have the maturity to hold this view.

    As an aside, a man I’d eventually love to see as coach for the Indian team (heck, any team) would be Anil Kumble. Going by GB’s criteria – technical knowledge, tactical prowess and man management skills – our man ranks really up there! He knows a lot about the game, having played it with much success at the highest level, he is an aggressive trier who is constantly changing tactics looking for that kill (often making him a real match-winner as against a good performer) and who knows how to manage pressure, and his demeanor of professionalism and camaraderie with his team mates and the media is there for all to see. Somehow, there is that stamp of integrity and maturity about him, which provides a strong foundation.

    I’m not competent enough to put forth on when he should stop playing the game, but I’d sure like to see this man be the Indian team’s coach when he’s done playing!

  12. here’s the latest….The wonderful Mr More pitching in for his buddy (and business partner some would say) the venerable Mr Chappel “I will be very disappointed [if their contracts are not renewed]. I know Rahul and Greg, and both of them worked very hard for the team. They had a vision for the team and for winning matches. The biggest failure in the World Cup was our batting, so you can’t blame the coach and the captain for it. It’s a total collective failure,” More told

  13. John seems to be a good replacement for Chappel. He did well for India in the past. Dada can be the captain say for the next 1 and 1/2 years …train yuvi under him for that period ….then dada and dravid should bid goobye..leaving yuvi to take care till 2011….As far as Sachin is concerned ..he should be given a honorary exit after 1 or 2 series , but he should be informed in advance ….this way we will have a chance in 2011 …by da way include ranadeb bose, suresh raina , mohammed kaif, ramesh pawar in the team …get young players rotate them in a ordered fashion and get the young guns firing

  14. Jack the Ripper March 28, 2007 — 5:48 am


    I am an ardent reader of your blogs, but can’t help feeling that you lose a sense of analytical reasoning and objectivity when it comes to Greg Chappell and Gangu. In this blog, you have made some points

    1. Batting form loss of people like Sehwag – I would like to question what the great John Wright did for the batting form of Ganguly(several years Ganguly was a virtual non-performing captain, eventually leading to his ouster, only when he was out of the team he worked and became better)

    2. Lack of Tactics
    What tactics inspired the great combination of Wright and Ganguly to put in Australia to bat in the WC 2003 final? Decision on whether to bat or bowl is a team decision and it is unfair to blame a single person for this.

    I agree that the Dravid/Chappel combine has been more adventurous when it comes to batting under difficult conditions, but mistakes happen.

    3. Bob Woolmer??
    You seem to be very effusive in your praise of the late Bob Woolmer and his coaching. But if I recollect, Pakistan crashed out of WC 2007 by losing to Ireland! We at least lost to a test playing nation. Please explain how Bob performed better in his role.

    I feel that it is best for Greg Chappell to not continue in the interests of Indian cricket. However, to hold him as the single person responsible is cruel. He came with the right intentions and tried to fight against a system.

    I feel he had a premonition of what was going to happen to India(poor aged fielding side) and tried his best to get youth. Unfortunately for him, the juniors did not live up to expectations and after failed series in West Indies and Malaysia, the clamor for “experience” became too high.

    India were beaten by a younger, fitter, better fielding sides. Our experience turned counterproductive(read lack of intent and aggression). Classic examples being the Ganguly/Sachin/Dravid approach in the match against Bangladesh! Where was the aggression then. Contrast that with the youthful agression shown by the Bangaladesh opener.

    Bottomline is shit happens
    1. Australia lost 5 continuous matches leading up to WC
    2. Australia made 434 and lost!
    3. Inzi who arrived with such a bang in the 1992 WC could never replicate his success and faced an ignominious exit
    4. Bangaladesh wins against India, Pakistan loses to Ireland

    We have larger issues with respect to attitude of our players, our grounds, BCCI etc which are the main problems. To blame everything on a single person is extremely myopic.

    PS: I feel Greg did the right thing by showing a middle finger to fans who were rooting for SA’s success because their blue eyed boy did not feature in the team at that point.

  15. GraetBong,

    All your analysIS and postmortam don’t cut too much unless you find out (d0 some investigation) whats up with Thandakar and aagekar being in the team no matter what. AAgekar is in the team no matter if there are better bowlers available and thandakar is forever planning to stay in the lineup…or is it till next world cup?

  16. Did anyone order for an Australian breakfast? Apparently that is where you get truth to gnaw. For all the professionalism that is being talked about, what kind of professional will selectively leak information to the media? Perhaps Chappell’s biggest success is that he has pulled the biggest con job in history. Full of empty talk.
    Btw, Times Now reports that Steve Waugh is a possible contender for the job. But again, Times Now is a sham. Take the news with a packet of salt.

  17. GB,
    Aren’t you wasting too much tears over spilt milk?
    Get a life……
    Move on guys….
    There is more to life than WC.
    The players would be more happy now
    B’cos they have more time to shoot ads,,,,,,

  18. Jack The Rpper is 100% right.. especially the PS

  19. GB, beautifully written post. You are not alone. There are million others who believed that India, under coaching of great Gag (sorry I mean Greg), would be a great performer in WC ’07. A common fan of the man in blue expected that India will at least present an honourable fight. That did not take place.
    Your next post will, I am sure, portray some objective analysis of the role of BCCI officials. The face of Indian cricket started changing drastically after Lalu Prasad Yadav entered Bihar Cricket, Sharad Pawar became BCCI chief and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee termed Dalmia’s re-election as CAB president as a ‘victory of evil over good’. These are just symptoms of a serious ailment; Indian cricket was in coma for a long time (even during Dalmia’s ‘rule’). Intermittent good performances were like
    CR Johnson’s coming back from coma .
    But team India has suffered most due to crazy experiments of Greg Chappell, an obstinate megalomaniac.
    I am not blog whoring but these posts simply support your view and I give the reference only to avoid a big sized comment.
    That’s it guys
    Greg: My Job as Trojan Horse Is Almost Over
    In Greg’s Honour
    This Year Honour Goes To

  20. I must state upfront that I’ve never been an admirer of Greg Chappell. He reminded me of the Aussie padres in school: horribly self-righteous and mean minded. Greg has been no different. He has played politics with players via the media – an unforgivable thing to do, as GB points out, to his wards. The guy needed to be protective, not bitchy. Think of the organization you work for and ask what if you have a boss who bitches about the department in public (that’s what talking to the media amounts to). Apart from it being demoralizing, it smacks of a character trait of the weak – one who seeks to pass the blame of his failures on to his men and, thereby, keep afloat. A mentor, as the coach must be, must command both respect and affection. Greg didn’t. I think that’s been the fundamental flaw with Greg. And the flaw has been apparent in his dealings with Sourav and now in his infamous SMS to Rajan Bala, and many times else.

    But having said this, there’s another point that I wish to make. The game has moved on to a different level of physical fitness and athleticism. See not only Australia on the field, but South Africa, NZ and even Sri Lanka and West Indies. That’s how the game in going and this athleticism will probably reach a new level when Twenty20 kicks in. It’s perhaps not surprising that the two most sluggish teams on the field – India and Pakistan – have been eliminated. The danger of not waking up to this could land India into a situation like hockey: while the game changed, we kept griping about the changes but did little to come to grips with them. Even Pakistan adapted to them, but not us. Jayaditya makes this point much better in Cricinfo. If you haven’t read it, please do. I am not saying athleticism can be a substitute for talent or mental toughness, but it will be another necessary attribute to make the cut at the highest level of cricket.

  21. 1 correction.
    Please read “There are million others who never believed…” in the third sentence.

  22. I don’t think Chappell did anything right, be it bowling, batting, or fielding. The quality in all the three I’d say has only diminished since he took over.
    As for strategy, again, I don’t think he’s come up with anything notable.

    I’d be extremely disappointed if they persist with this jackass.

  23. Minutes of BCCI’s postmortem meeting are available in rediff.

  24. i feel GB is hittng the traget bang on.And dear kailas, it isint wasting time. It is necessary otherwise this game where at least we have some place in the world will degenerate into rock bottom.

    got this as a mail fwd..

    India’s Next Four matches…

    April 2: India vs St.Marry Secondary School

    April 5: India vs BVB Boys School

    May 3: India vs Vellalar Ladies College

    May 5: India vs Pogo Hyderabad publc school(I std to 5th std)

    Dravid: Its tough time for us. But we will do the Best… Our first aim to Defeat the Pogo primary school, because lot of players are young and energetic.We just need to stay focused. Moreover we all just have seen some inspirational video. Becoz the game is won in the mind before.

  25. I wonder, since your blog started, whether you ever criticised Ganguly for anything.

    Ganguly’s failure to come to terms with an amateur Bangla bowling attack and score 66 of 129 balls really killed the game for us. He tried to do the same in the Bermuda match, but it would have been too obvious. He again did it in the SL match. I am not saying that Tendulkar, Dhoni, Uthappa etc. are not to blame but Ganguly really gave away too many dot balls in the Bangla match, failed to accelerate. Tournaments turn around moments like this. In the India-SL match, even SL lost key wickets but they never lost tempo, kept taking their singles and rotate strike. Here Ganguly was treating Razzak like Warne and Murali combined.

    I would even go as far as to say that he did that intentionally so that we cop it and he regains the captaincy. He seems to have succeeded in that as there is already some rumours of his getting back captaincy. Apparently there was a meeting before the SL match in Ganguly’s room between Ganguly, SRT, Yuvi and Bhajji. Wonder what went on.

    You can complain about Dravid’s lack of communication even though he is one of the most articulate sportsment around. There is nothing much you can communicate, when your teammates are intent on pulling you down.

  26. For this debacle, if there is one person to be singled out, it has to be the coach Mr Greg Chappell and NO ONE ELSE.
    I, a frequent visitor and commenter at this blog, didn’t feel like posting any comment on Arnab’s earlier posts (World Cup Snippets1 & 2, Pulling down the Bermudas and It’s over) simply because I was too disappointed (though not much surprised) and felt too let down like almost all Indians to get involved in any kind of discussion on cricket.

    But, a post-mortem, a thorough introspection is unavoidable and it has to be done immediately. The call of the time is to look back and decide on how to look ahead.

    Whether the coach is an Indian Coach or a foreign coach doesn’t really make any difference as long as the coach is a thorough professional and understands the team and the players’ mentalities. John Buchanan’s term with Australia is about to finish so the BCCI might just rope in for him. Sandeep Patil was a total failure during his earlier stint as Indian coach and I don’t really know if coaching Kenya has done him any good. The best coach in the world to me is Dav Whatmore who can turn minnows into world-beaters. He doesn’t talk too much, doesn’t create unnecessary fuss around him and stays away from the spotlight as much as possible. Had I had the power, I would have got hold of him at the cost of anything once his contract with Bangladesh terminates.

    There are speculations of Sachin being re-appointed as the Skipper. I don’t really know if that would be a great thing to do at this point in time. He has twice been given this role before and has failed to perform.
    Some time back, Brian Lara was re-appointed as the West Indian Captain after a series of disasters under Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s captaincy. Lara had ‘been there, done that’ before also and to be honest, his captaincy records during his earlier two tenures were not any better than Sachin’s. However, at 36 (Lara is nearing 38 now), he didn’t have anything more to achieve as a player. Whatever a batsman can ever dream of achieving individually is already in his kitty. His only motivation now lies in being a part of a champion team which he hasn’t quite been able to during all these years. This is enough motivation for a player of Lara’s stature and his present tenure as skipper has some success to talk of (mainly in ODI’s , though) including a series whitewash against India and finishing 2nd only to the Aussies in last year’s ICC Champion’s Trophy. They had won the previous version of the tourney in 2004 but failed to stay consistent with winning after that as a series of dismal performances followed that victory.
    If leading a champion team in his last World Cup can be the only motivation for Lara as the moment, there are chances that Sachin might just be thinking the same way because he, too would reach the age of 37 by the next world cup in India and has expressed his willingness to keep playing till then. After all, it was a same kind of motivation that helped Imran Khan lift the World Cup in 1992, at the age of 39.
    The question, however, is that will Sachin be able to survive as a player till then? Age has already started showing in every move he makes. There are people older than him doing fine in international cricket (Hayden, Gilchrist, Lara, McGrath to name a few) but then they hadn’t started their careers 18 years earlier. Will his body be able to take punches till 2011? If it does, then it would be his 22nd year in international cricket. And, to be realistic, that sounds too far-fetched. Keeping all these factors in mind, I feel re-appointing him as the skipper would not be a good idea in any way because it is uncertain if he at all can survive for more than a year or so in the international arena.

    Continuing with Dravid is another option. He , in spite of being 34, is still fit and probably may last till the next World Cup. He may not as well. Uncertainty again. Besides, his classical approach to captaincy is a kind of back-dated these days. We need a more agressive, positive and attacking captain, someone like Ganguly 3-4 years back.

    There are talks of Ganguly being offered the captaincy again doing the rounds as well. He was and can still make a brilliant captain but the same question again crops up : for how long? He isn’t getting any younger. He has to do a lot of repair work for sure. He has to start from the scratch again by putting the remains of ‘once great’ team together. Who will finish his unfinished work if his career comes to an end after a season or two?

    Players like Yuvraj and Sehwag are no doubt talented but on the other hand are already inconsistent performers, even without any additional burden.
    Can they be relied upon? Can they handle the burden of leading team India?
    The only ‘youngster’ with a calm head, good cricketing brain and leadership qualities, Mohammed Kaif was an indispensable part of the Indian ODI outfit till a few days back. He had captained a World Cup winning Indian junior squad before. But, thanks to Chappell-Dravid super-combo, he is out of favour now. They persisted with a non-performing Sehwag for a year but didn’t hesitate to throw Kaif out of contention for a place in the team after a few failures. It’s the same Mohammed kaif who was being touted by many as the next captaincy material.

    Look at today’s South Africans. Boucher, Pollock, Ntini, Nell, Gibbs, Kallis, Hall, Smith – all of them played in the last World Cup but their level of performance has gone up drastically. Why was Pollock not replaced by someone as experienced as Boucher, Gibbs or Kallis after their early exit from the last World Cup? Because they knew making someone young and aggressive the captain will prove beneficial in the long run. Smith, who wasn’t even a regular in the team then, at 21, was appointed as the skipper. Results are in front of everyone.

    Therefore, the only way Indian Cricket can move forward is by holding the hand of an energetic, young and dynamic captain. But do we have many options? Do we?

  27. @ vamshi:
    Ganguly was painstakingly slow in the Bangladesh match. Agreed.

    But, on the other hand, had he lost his wicket earier trying to his a six or anything, we would have been bundled out for less than 150.

  28. ‘hit a six’ and NOT ‘his a six’ …in the previous comment….sorry

  29. Let’s face it. Of the last three captains we have had, Ganguly was the only one who lost the captaincy due to his own form. Sachin earlier, and Dravid now, seem to be getting dragged down by their mates performances. I remember feeling sorry for Sachin, as Azhar turned into this maniacal dervish, who would hit out whatever be the situation. Sure, it led to some ‘gems’ like the 179 against South Africa, but almost always when it was too late. In other words, doing just enough to justify his place, but not for the team. That is the problem we seem to have with our current bunch, where you really wonder, are they so blockheaded as to miss the obvious requirements from them? be it to score fast, finish matches quickly or hold an end up?

    Ganguly might have been the highest scorer, but the way he scored gives no reason to believe that he will have a good stint as Captain ever again. Guys like Ranadeb Bose, Piyush Chawla certainly need a chance, as they will certainly fare better, if given the sort of long rope the Kumble’s and agarkar’s get. For that matter, I wonder how many of the ignoed domestic batters would have done better, given the 18 and more chances Sehwas got to get his odd 50’s.

  30. GB, I think you will be the first one to admit that SG’s refusal/inability to take singles, and his pitiful lethargy in running between the wickets, cannot be discounted as a major factor in our losses against Bangladesh and SL.

    Too much of Chappell bashing is also not good. The fact is tht we were too over confident against Bangladesh and failed colelctively against SL. The match against SL we shd have won easily but SG, Yuvi, SRT and MSD let the team down badly. GC cannot come and play for us in the middle but the plsyers shd be doing that. If our batsmen didnt even know how to play Murali or Vaas or even see whether a single is there or not before taking off, no one can save us. GC or no GC.

    Its amazing to see the wheel turning full circle. Remember, his emails to seniors in BCCI was leaked and thts how we came to know of his “probelms” with SG. Now, GC’s cohorts in the media re leaking his SMS to push his case.

    We go into critical matches without Kumble and we lose it badly. Remember 2003 final, the matches against Bangla, SL in 2007 !!!!!!!

    Kumble had announced already tht he wont be playing any more ODIs (poor chap treated quite unfairly).
    SG would be thrown out from the ODI team.
    SRT would be given one final warning.
    Agarkar, Sehwag, Dhoni etc shd be dropped for the series against Bangladesh.

    All these are wishful thoughts. Ultimately, nothings gonna happen. As some one said above, shit happens. All the time.

  31. Abhishek…..
    do you seriously think we can make a difference by putting our thoughts and stratergies here,
    At the end of the day,players have to go and make runs out there…

  32. Anonymous @ 3:42 am March 28, 2007 — 9:12 am

    To, anonymous @ 8:38 am

    What are you smoking!! You are absolving the coach and at the same time questioning the very strategies which were made by none other than the coach!!! phew

  33. Beautiful beautiful post from India’s best blogger.

    A few points:

    1> Greg Chappell ‘s vision: Greg Chappell actually was more of a corporate coach than a cricket coach. He had this vision and he was quite stepped into it. He refused to see anything else. Its natural that when a man is so stepped into his own vision that he will find some people bad and some good, some tactics worth of perusing and recalcitrant to change. But was that vision perfect?

    2> Irrespective of weather the vision was prefect of not, there was no questioning it. the reason was Chappell’s CV. All time great test player, a batsman who was so good on the on side that it would make Mark Waugh and Azhar look pale. Commentator on Channel 9, captain of Australia. I remember Kapil Dev, a great player but a butt of jokes as an analyst, once joking about the no.3 position, “Maybe GC should bat there.” It aptly summed for the recondite “process” and its incomprehensibility to experts and non experts alike. Only Kiran More, Rajan Bala and the Cricinfo clowns could fathom the “process”.

    3> So for the first few months we have a situation that everyone is saying wow-wow. Make no mistake, this Indian side had players like Sachin and Dravid. But the real star became the Australian coach – the messiah and the guide- one who will carry Indian cricket to hitherto unreachable heights.

    4> Then came the spat with Ganguly. Even if we ignore for a moment as to who was right or wrong, we could see that the coach was not a person who takes kindly to people who rise up against him. Aussie fighting spirit after all.

    5> He finds a able captain in Rahul Dravid who is quiet and is quite a follower of Chappell. So now we see a scenario where the coach is such an influential figure that he controls the selection committee who are too awed by him anyway and the captain. Seldom does a coach have this kind of power. John Buchanan can advise but not influence Australian team selection.

    6> Chappell makes friends with sections of media, notably Cricinfo. Sambit Bal was a person who had a rags to riches story from a staff writer of Gentleman magazine to one who become editor of Cricinfo. Earlier he used to smoke Charms cigarette. Now he drinks Johnny Walker  Together they make a pact. Some Cricinfo writers had deals for writing with Guardian and other British papers. Bal acted quickly and swiftly. In a secret room called Room 101 of Cricinfo office, he brainwashed all his staff with enthusiasm and alacrity. Strange articles began to appear in the Guardian- that it was Ganguly who divided India, that it was he who is responsible for India’s each and every bad performance. The writers loved it- the PPP for the 200 pounds that they got for each report in the Guardian enabled them to buy expensive lingerie for their wives. The British who had heard all about Ganguly’s snootiness loved it. Even recently, for those who were keeping an eye on Lawrence Booth’s ball by ball report would have seen that how successfully the ganguly propaganda was spread.

    Back home people were slowly realizing that the demarcation b/w truth and fiction was being obfuscated. Chocolate ration went up from 20 to 25 grams, claimed the party in Orwell’s dystopic novel. Ganguly sabotaged in Nagpur, claimed Cricinfo, and hammered it again and again and again till it became the truth. People tended to believe them…there is an advantage of being an Indian cricket writer in English, you can claim that you are a superior analyst and that your fellow Indians who write in Bengali are lowlifes and Ganguly sycophants. Some people, as amply demonstrated by the comments on Prem Panicker’s blog were influenced by these “verdicts” and “comments”. Yes he was not a good captain, Micheal slater was right in abusing Dravid, but a brown man taking his shirt off, showing aggression and in your face attitude…shame shame….hes not a captain, claimed people like Dung- er- por, who loves nothin more than to kiss a white ass.

    7> Ganguly was slowly eased out. Orwell wrote ” Oceania was always at war with Eurasia.” Chappell: “Sourav faked injury” and “Being captain is essential for Sourav’s finances”.

    Oh yeah, and he coached the Indian team for free as a part of worldwide cricket community service.

    Later when Ganguly came back ” I knew he would come back”. However note the fact that this came out only in Cricinfo. No one knows if it was said by Big Brother himself or a versificator (Dileep? ).

    “Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.”

    8> Slowly the people started coming out of the trance, first the pathetic performance last year and now the nadir of all performances- a first round exit at the biggest show of all, where the vision was supposed to climax in the form of a mind blowing orgasm. Maybe the vision was for 2011 and not 2007. Maybe the “process” came too soon. Any way, the psychedelic journey with the “process” has been something akin to an odyssey which the Indian cricket follower wont forget in a hurry, except that it led nowhere. But it made Chappell richer by about half a million along with 2 years of great Oriental hospitality, barring the odd slap from a lunatic. Consider this….. Greg Chappell never toured India as a player. But that India was not the same as this India. He needed the money which was not given to him in 2000, and he made hay while the Bangalore sun shone on him.

    9> Throughout cricketing history, we have seen some great coaches. The recently deceased Bob Woolmer was a shining example of how a coach should be, but the greatest of them was Bob Simpson of Australia. But in all these cases, the coach was the velvet glove as far the team went, while the captain, even Cronje, the iron fist. The roles were reversed here. The captain is diffident and introvert, while the coach loves a scuffle and is not averse to controversial statements and actions. So much so that after this World Cup exit, we saw an apologetic Dravid, but an arrogant as ever Chappell. This was the Chappell who didnt care before asking his bro to bowl underarm, this was the Chappell whose mask had fallen off. The velvet glove had turned to powder, but the iron fist had hardened into concrete, tightly grabbing the last rewards and remunerations of his employers. And he remained inflexible as ever.

    10> The last word about the “process” however cannot be better explained than GBs wonderful elucidation.

    “This we were told was what Vision 2007 was and armed with management-speak, pyschobabble and De Bono’s hats, Chappell was able to convince many that the chronic losses were irrelevant, player burn outs were inevitable —everything had to forgiven at the altar of the “process” and some pain had to be endured (kind of like how you know that Clearasil is working only when your pimples start tingling) for the land of milk and honey that lay ahead.

    This was putting it simply the greatest trick Chappell ever pulled.

    Through this hot air about “process”, Chappell had created a masterful “Sikhandi”: if you criticized Chappell, you were criticizing the “process” and the “Aussie” attitude we solely needed. And once the smoke and mirrors of the “process” was firmly in place (with the help of some friends in the media), Greg and his acolytes (principally Kiran More) were left free to pursue battles of personal vendetta and agendas of a political nature. In the process, they subverted the very principles of objectivity and impartiality on which the rational process they claimed to believe in was based on.”


  34. @Vamsi:

    So Ganguly made the entire team lose because he wanted to get captaincy back for himself? Chappell couldn’t have put it better himself! And of course all the other batsmen in the team including Sachin were only trying to to help Ganguly achieve that end.

    Really sad. I agree with you that most people in this entire team, and most of the country to boot, are just out to get the honest injuns Dravid and Chappell. Poor guys what can they do when the selection committee, senior players, bowlers, batsman, fielders all have the same single agenda – how to get Dravid out and make Sourav captain again!

    And all this after Chappell and Dravid had exposed the truth about Sourav to the world earlier – that he faked injuries, was a mercenary, parochial, disruptive etc. Why don’t people just believe these two honorable men? Something is horribly wrong with this world when people like Chappell and Dravid are not believed or trusted, even after being defended by other honest men like Rajan Bala, Kiran More, and…Vamsi!

  35. Oh Arnab you are such an angry young man! Calm down will you?

  36. @Jasmine

    Reading your comment, he will. After all, you called him a young man! 🙂

  37. Since Chappell is starring in the latest Indian blockbuster Villain No.1, the following is a LIST OF GRATEFUL PEOPLE
    1. The players,the BCCI and the cricket-loving public :-for shouldering the blame and making us aware of the ‘foreign hand’ involvement. No one of even remote Indian ancestry could be blamed.
    2. The oppressed minotity– the domestic dalits who like to watch saas-bahu/ghost and horror flicks — anything that does not involve the 22 yards of boredom.

  38. @GB
    Excellent analysis!

    I have a feeling that Chappel sent out a couple of people. Each with contradictory contents. Then he instructed them to relay it as per the situation. Something like:
    If team does very well :- Relay SMS Version 1 which says the team was as per my likings
    If team does average :- Relay SMS Version 2 which says 1/2 the team was as per my likings
    So on and so forth. Rajan Bala honestly and accurately relayed the SMS that he was asked to in case the team failed miserably.

    Young men are no more angry nowadays.

  39. Arnab, good post. Whatever SMS Greg sent, does it absolve him of the problems that is with the Indian Cricket Team?

    There was no fighting spirit & the players were just going through the motions. There was no plan. Winning against Sri Lanka and carrying the vital 2 points to the next round should have been planned before the World Cup began. It shouldn’t have mattered even if India would have won against Bangladesh & Bermuda.

    There are talks about performance based incentives to the players. How about putting that as a clause to the coach?

    @Aby: It not only ‘could’ be true but may very well be true knowing Greg.

    @’Street Hawk’ Shan : Did you not read that Sreesanth was crying and openly saying why did God (aka Tendulkar) did this to us? They all conspired against poor Dravid & Greg 😉

  40. The entire tam should be made to play domestic cricket..after all that’s where they got their first recognition and then into the Indian team.

    Let them take train and bus rides to get to venues and remember the hard work they had to put in to be considered for selection. For too long the domestic leagues are filled with dead matches and pitches and ga-ga fans out to see players trying to get back into form hitting big against teams like Tripura and Goa. They are then recalled.
    And yeah, Chappell should go. To think, we let Moody slip out of our hands.

  41. You put it brilliantly. I couldnt have said it any better than you do abt Chappell. Chappell needs to go – heck why was he even elected in the first place, considering his previous coaching assignments have also been just disasters.

    In any game, the moment a major team loses – the coach resigns, whether its his fault or not. And what is Chappell doing – sending SMS, blaming the media and everyone else around him but himself. Heck he is worse than Tendulkar trying to find a spot in the team.


  42. I’m not sure how much of help a foreign coach will be or any coach will be for that matter…Lets face it, today its a bunch of jokers who make up the BCCI who decide on who plays, sits at home, serves drinks, etc etc etc…Until and unless the coach and Capt have a defined powers and are not reined by the BCCI for every decision, Indian cricket will languish in the current state…Dave Whatmore, Buchanan, etc have succeeded because they are given the authority to make decisions which are beneficial for the team and in the best interest.

  43. Ever since he was appointed my mother warned us that he came here solely to destroy the team that had slowly been built up after the Azharuddin fiasco. As she pointed out, we went and appointed this guy who actually refused to play within India, he was so racist.

    I suppose she stands vindicated.

    On a different note, do you suppose this is too early to debate how many pujos will decide to use his effigy for Mahishashur this year too?

  44. Captain Haddock March 28, 2007 — 1:09 pm

    Here is a random thought from another demented mind (and they don’t come any demented than Captain Haddock’s). After reading all the East vs West vs North vs South Indian fan diatribes in the comments section on this blog for last 1 year 5 months i am wondering……………when will we realize that whenever a foreigner (non-Indian) wants to gain something in India, he always uses the “dvide and rule” policy started by the British way back when (3-4 centuries ago, my history knowledge is weak). The British used this policy to weaken us, break us and rule us for centuries and Greg Chappell did the same thing during his tenure as “coach”.

    Look at the overall picture and consider what has happened: this guy Guru Greg has gained (made a lot of money, earned a lot of perks) and INDIA has lost. What we INDIANS have ended up with is a fractured and WEAKER Indian team.

    Greg inherited a cohesive unit and he was supposed to take us to the “Next level” and what he has left us with is a team divided into factions (Dravid camp, Ganguly camp and Tendulkar camp….any others?)

    Way to go, Greg…kabhi na bhool, divide and rule……….you used this old adage to great effect. And us stupid Indians (players, fans), are left fighting with each other.

    We lost our freedom when we let the British use this policy against us. What more do we have to lose before we learn…………….

  45. Well Arnab, after all Great Guru Greg is an honourable man!!!!!

  46. To Anonymous @ 3:42 am Mar 28th, 2007

    I dont get what u mean….

    Who is absolving GC here ?
    Ofcourse he has to shoulder the blame for this fiasco. But wht abt the players themselves ?

    Was it GC’s startegy

    tht SG shd be lethargic on field ?
    tht SG shdnt take singles ?
    tht Yuvi shd take off for a non existent single ?
    tht SRT cant even save his middle stump ?
    tht Dhoni shd, every time, try to hit ball No:1 he is facing over the ropes ?
    tht Sehwag will play like a school kid and try to give catching practice to the slips ?

    Havent these guys played in enough no: of matches to know tht they shd try to win a match ?

  47. After the team selection SMS , does it not seem that Greg leaked his own email on ganguly ?

  48. What wrong has Greg done by
    1. Sending the SMS about his displeasure on the selection process / team he has
    2. Reminding the media / team that the Men in Blue have not got a major success since 1985.

    Hail Guru Greg. We all love you. Would you please f*ck off the planet.

  49. Great Bong,

    You are trying to make connections where no connections exist. I will give just one simple example…that Sehwag sucks is really in no way Greg’s fault. When Sehwag new, in form and the bowlers of the world had not yet read him well enough, he performed in his characteristic style. But once the teams saw fottage of the guy, it was easy to figure out what to do to get him out. The only reason Sehwag was in the team is because Dravid believed in him. I am not sure why he put such belief in such a non-performer. But you link Sehwag being a downright useless international player to Greg not performing his responsibility. BTW, I am in no way a fan of Greg. I wasnt a fan of Dada either until he made such a remarkable come back.

  50. Hey Anonymous (Mar 28th, 2007 at 2:27 pm) – I did not see any mention of Dravid’s insipid captaincy. Isn’t the captain responsible for the team’s defeat ? At least that’s what every Tom, Dick and Vasu 🙂 seemed to scream when Ganguly was the captain !!!

  51. @any – I agree – Plus irrespective of any ‘process’ or anything else – the fact remains is that if u are a gifted player and want to perform – once u are on the pitch – its upto YOU – Messrs Chappel and Co are not next to u on the pitch, helping you play every ball. If u do well; nobody is going to penalise u and say u did not do it my way!

    Bottom line. The team sucks, they are busy with their personal agendas and restuarants, and advertising contracts and many other things. Even god will give up trying to coach such a team

  52. To say that we need a foreign coach because Indian coach will be having this own regional bias and agenda is really annoying.
    why stop at the coach then, why not have foreign selectors !

  53. Hi GB,

    Lets not blame GC entirely for the debacle. Lets look at the other side of the coin the big three.
    SG – Dada is batting well at the moment, but his lethargy in converting a single into a double or remotely a double into a 3 is certainly hurting India at the top.
    Dravid – Tactically extremely poor. The 42nd and the 43rd overs could well have been done without bhajji and sachin, whereas agarkar who was for a first time change in his career going at 3.2 an over ended up 2 overs short of his quota.
    SRT – U don’t expect to be bowled consistently through the gate at this level after playing more than a decade and a half. Made the ball look twice deadly than it actually was.

    Well the above men should gradually gracefully exit to make way for newer “boizz” . The “boizz” worst performance in a tight pressure cooker game would be NULL, same as that of SRT.

  54. Just a small note for people who seem to think so, I think GB here is not asserting that the players are not at fault at all and the entire blame lies with Chappell. As the title suggests, it’s Post Mortem Part 1 and he will go on to analyse the players too in further parts.

  55. All said and done, these were the 11 best players we had in our kitty or we could muster to send. The attitude of these guys were bad, unprofessional, did not take an active interest to mend their plays. The Coach can be blamed too. But what about these individual players. Indian cricket does not just depend on coaches but for players to understand what professionalism is all about. If they get sufficient money to play, they should try to be professional on the field and try to be athletes for the field rather than unfit players who just want to garner the cheers.

  56. let there be no debate on this – greatbong is biased, pro-ganguly and anti-chappell. that being said, here is my (much more abridged) analysis:

    chappell must go; whether he is a good coach or not, only time will tell – his methods definitely won’t work in the sub-continent, that much i am sure of (and this includes all four countries in the sub-continent, not just india).

    whatmore, if available, would be a great coach; else i would go for mohinder amarnath.

    tendulkar, agarkar, kumble, harbhajan and zaheer khan must retire from one dayers asap and focus on tests.

    sehwag, ganguly, uthappa, yuvraj and dhoni (in that order) are almost in the same boat – a couple more bad performances and they need to be discarded as well.

    somewhere along the way, we need to develop a relatively foolproof system such that a good average hand-in-hand with a low variance trumps a good average shored up by isolated huge performances (whatever the player’s past performances might have been). in other words, we don’t want a 150 preceeded and followed by a string of single-digit scores (until the next 150 against bermuda or some such).

    we need to rebuild the nucleus of our one-day team around dravid (not as captain), pathan (as batsman), karthik (as batsman first, and as wicket-keeper if dhoni loses out), powar (don’t know how long he can last), sreesanth (depends on how economical he can get or how much he improves his strike rate). this is all of the top of my head … who else from the world cup team am i missing?

    – s.b.

  57. Well I ve heard a sensible thing at last amidst all the heaps of crap- Dravid is the linch-pin of the future team but not as captain. That leaves only a niggling doubt- who is best suited to captain in the current lot of is there to be a wait for the messaih?!

  58. There are many here who seem very shocked that Chappel leaked stuff to the media. Or about his last SMS. It is the norm for sportspersons to leak info and rumors and accusations to the media. Everyone does it. Coaches do it too. Nothing surprising there – the question is, do they finally do the job or not. The media is actively used by everyone in public life to put forward their point of view, and he who does not do it is a fool.

    In this case, the answer is clear enough. But typical of GB to take on Chappel to begin with. Why not take on Dravid instead?

    The process: The process was screwed the day Chappel joined. He may had some plan for a process, but when you are not supposed to say a word about the underperforming God in the team (he didn’t open his mouth – even this coach knew that it would be trouble), yoru process is screwed.

    Ganguly? One of the best players now, and one of the worst players when he was thrown out by the collar into the mud. His underperformance was second only to Sachin’s. Any self respecting man would walk out – he didn’t. The new Gangu seems to be a better animal. No thanks to Greg.

    And Chappel is the new Ganguly – considering his unwillingness to accept blame and quit before being thrown out. Let it be said that he learnt something from the Prince!

    Dravid should quit too. The team messed up under his captaincy. He was anyday a better batsman than a captain, and apart from Ganguly who deserves another chance, the only one who can remain in the team on account of performance.

    The blame game is really funny to watch. Chappel says he did not get the youngsters he wanted. Doesn’t matter that Raina was often pathetic when he was in the team. BCCI VP says all senior players should quit. Someone else wants to replace Dravid with the God of Small Ducks. Others want Gangu to come back – the no.2 divide-and-ruler after GC!

    From sources who were standing next to the sources who give GB much secret info, I can state confidently that Gangu kept everyone, including Dravid, on such tenderhooks about their place in the team, and made that VVS etc would never be a threat to him.

    Anyway., solutions anyone?

    Greg should go. Sure. Then, send the entire bunch to Australia for 6 months. Have their bowlers bowl to our superstars. In a month’s time, our men will improve. Anyone who gets to bat against a McGrath or Brett Lee will improve. And please pay Matthre Hayden humungous amounts of money to destroy our bowlers. They will improve in a month too. Remember the wimpy team that went to Australia as highly paid garbage and came back with clanging steel balls between their legs?

  59. For the last 4 years, we got too many sound-bytes about the ‘process’ and the amazing innovations courtesy our coach. Regardless of team performance, it was supposed to be another step in the direction of WC07.

    Greg made it more about ‘his policies’ and ‘his way’ than any previous coach. Hopefully he realizes that the process had chinks as much as the players themselves. Obviously, he alone cannot be blamed but in a team filled with ‘icons’, ‘stars’ and ‘prima donnas’, here is a coach who is a ‘diva’ himself … Maybe, that’s our cricket team’s problem… too many rockstars.

    Reminds me of Bill Parcells and the Cowboys this season.

  60. A few suggestions after reading all the above comments:

    (i) The entire present Indian team must quit (unceremoniously if u please)… and be replaced by an under 19 team… this team shud train together for 4 years (under an Indian coach… preferable shrikanth… or maybe Jadeja…) .and then play the world cup … in between they shud play in australia for 1 1/2 years .. south africa for another 1 … sub-saharan africa for 1 more and the remaining 6 months in antartica… this will improve cricketing and athletic abilities… jump like lion… spring like kangaroo… wail like a walrus etc….

    (ii) Anyone who scores above 3000 runs must automatically retire… ditto anyone above 23 and 3 months… we need young blood and lots of it…also called rotation policy….

    (iii) scoring at less than a run a ball in more than three matches (in any given period of six consequetive months… forgive me !! I am a lawyer..) would mean expulsion from the team … even if u score 66 out of 198… being 120 all out is allowed… scoring slowly is not…

    (iv) all past records (birth, schooling etc) of the cricketers would be removed to ensure that there is no regional bias … they should be designated by numbers… to avoid any sense of bias, everyone wud be assigned a random 5 digit number 23785, 84536 etc…. to make it more interesting the numbers may be changed every three months….wud make it easier to have a flexible with the batting order as well…

    (v) no corporate endorsements wud be allowed… in fact best if we remove all ads from tv altogether… like china, cricketers will have to go to the villages for 1 year (this can be in sub-saharan africa when they are there)… inculcate an identification with the proletariat… rid the game of evil money…

    (vi) arnob shud not write about cricket… in any case it wud be pro-ganguly… anti-chappel… thats cos he is bengali… no matter ganguly has been india’s best bat ever since he came back… no matter chappel has already been established as a team breaker of the worst sort (he was too busy smsing and creating trouble to think of winnin a cup)… but hey am bengali so i am saying this cos i love dada… maybe all bengalis shud stop writing about cricket…

    @ counterspin- arre yaar u r right ….wright was a bumbling idiot..dada ran the show… but he was a terrible captain… yet india reached the finals of the workld cup… and oh… drew against australia in australia… and oh… won in pakistan… strange… GB… very bad… u shud have written abt the 17 game winning streak… where the process was working perfectly… after all process is what counts… but GB’s analysis is terrible… the process succeeded u see GB, except that it worked the other way round… it worked when Greggie just took over the team (and therefore didnt have the time to destroy it completely)… and didnt when he completed the cycle but hey… thats just bias…

    @ Jackie… the Ripper… tactics- did u say world cup final? hmmm… wonder how we got there… no tactics in australia u say… loss of form… please please take a calculator and do the math… who had a worse run… SG… our jumpin jackass kaifie … or viru the blind… and btw check graeme smith’s horror form in mid 2005, and while u r at it check for mark taylor… learn something? i guess not…

    @vamsi- just received an sms … apparently SG bribed the umpires in the bangladesh match… and the match referee.. the groundsman… vivian richards also… just so he cud become captain…

    @ Anon 8:38, 2:17, 3:16 etc etc… say what… dont u know SG conspired wid his bengali brethern so that they wud make the super 8s…

  61. Huh! This bong has not forgotten what Chappel did to their Prince….ROTFL!

  62. @Footballnath: Seems so.

    @Rishi: For the market forces to work, there needs to be competition to cricket. Is there?

    @MohanVee: John Wright is sucking up to the job?Pity that you have so much contempt for the person who gave us “results”. It is very easy to explain away success as “unexpected”…and refuse to accept the very real changes to the team’s fortune than the Sourav-Wright combination brought about.

    @Anoop: This “throw this guy out” thing works in Australia where you have genuine bench strength.

    @Anonymous: Yes he does. And he has the support of sections of the media for it.

    @Anirban: A desi coach seems to be the most “popular” option across both sides of the border.

    @Yahoo!: I never put all the blame at Chappell’s door.

    @Counterspin: Yes you should. It is a noble endeavour.

    The 17 match winning streak against mediocre opposition, an out-of-form Sri Lanka including none of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Yes please keep respinning those tapes as the crowning glory of the Dravid-Chappell combo. In important tournaments, and nothing is more important than the World Cup (I did not say that, your Guruji did), everything came unstuck. And it is funny that at this time, you remind me of the 17 match winning streak: current performance and not past history counts, my dear friend. Has Guruji not taught you that?

    Perhaps not.

    As to whether Wright was a shy person, he was not trying to be someone’s wife that we want to consider if he was “shy” or convent educated or had a wheatish skin. He delivered results. Chappell did not. By your logic, if Dada controlled him, Dada was the greatest captain !

    @Tipu: Regrettably, Chappell and “foreign coach” have become interchangeable: which is a pity.

    @Amit: Criteria? You mean measured process?

    @Anand: I re-iterated that there is everything to gain from having a process. A real one. But for GC, the process was just a lot of hot air: he was as ad-hoc as anyone else.

    @PChakra: Yes one of my daily pleasures is listening to Kiran More’s pearls of wisdom.

    @Anirban: I am not in favour of recalling Wright. We need someone fresh: someone who can make a clean break with history. Laxman for instance blames John Wright for him being omitted from WC03 and having Wright back is just a needless way of complicating things. There are many good coaches out there.

    @Jack the Ripper:

    1 SG didnt do badly under Wright for all the years he was coach. Did he? Remembet 2003? The centuries he scored against the minnows —-once against Kenya when we were in trouble? I hope you realize, after WC07, how dangerous matches against Kenya and bangladesh can be and how non-trivial it is to score runs against minnows, under “pressure” circumstances.

    2.Ahem. Go back and look at the WC03 tapes. And look at the way fields changed in the England, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand matches as examples. I am noone but many cricket experts consider SG to be a very good captain: far more than those who consider RD to be one.

    3.Bob Woolmer kept the team together when one person was slapping him and two others were fighting in the locker. If this was GC, he would have said “Either Akthar or me” and fretted and fumed like a newly wed.

    4.When you compare the way India gave in with Australia making 434 and losing I seriously wonder what to say. India didnt lose by a few runs…shit didnt happen…they shitted in their pants. Kindly understand the difference. It’s not a freak losing streak…ICC World Championship we tanked similarly. When you bring Australia and India in the same comment, I really am at a loss.

    And oh when the great GC team folds up and then the opposing team gets all the runs for the loss of no wickets, expect to be booed.

    @Zulfi: What’s up with Tendulkar being in the team? Simple. Look at his numbers. They are still better than anyone else’s.

    @Sriram: Simple. GC is not a professional.

    @Kailas: Well Kailas, we need to make sure that milk isnt spilt again. Of course you may say how does my writing about it make a difference. Well it does to me.

    @Anonymous: Yes of course.

    @Amitabha: Yes it will be about BCCI officials.

    @Karim: Athleticism with cricketing skills. Kaif is athletic and so is Raina. But Kaif has not done justice to his once-perceived promise and Raina, well, he needs more time before he can play with the big boys.

    @Slashgod: I dont think they will. Because GC is now a liability and the easiest person to remove.

    @Abhishek: Hope the April 2 and 5 matches arent against schools in Australia.

    @Vamshi: And I wonder if you can ever find anything good to say about Ganguly.(Incidentally I blamed SG for not rotating the strike in my previous posts: which you missed presumably)

    In the Bangladesh match SG had not scored those runs, then just consider what the score would have been. What you say would have made sense if India had played out the overs: since they couldnt even use up their overs, blaming SG for playing out balls really makes no sense. Did the batsmen fall because of pressure? No they fell to soft dismissals.

    And then I see that you accuse SG of having intentionally played badly which kind of reveals the Chappellian tendency that hides in you: of making unsubstantiated hate-filled allegations based on things of which you have no proof of. Expected.

    @deBOLIN: Hmm

    @Prasanna: Ignored batters? Venugopal Rao?Pleeze.

    @Anonymous: Actually I was the first person to accept that. SG ran poorly. Please go back and read my last 2 weeks posts.

    @Yourfan2: Thank you.

    @Jasmine: With the smell of Jasmine and as Shan pointed out being referred to as “young man”, how can I stay angry?

    @Swati: So are you part of that oppressed minority?

    @Asterix: No but it enables him to save face.

    @Killerbee_qa: Yep domestic cricket. Only way out.

    @Suyog: True.

    @Vijay: Hmm

    @Sue: Yep. Chappell didnt step out of his ‘comfort zone’ ! By the time Pujo comes, GC will be forgotten…India would have defeated Bangladesh and WC07 will be a distant memory.

    @Captain Haddock: Again I am not comfortable with dragging GC’s foreign-ness into the equation. GC didnt split up people in India. GC didnt make people associate SG with Bengalis or make SG a lighting rod for anti-Bengali sentiments. GC was not good enough. That’s all.

    @Anirban: Yes Anthony !

    @Anonymous: Noone is saying the Indian players are innocent !

    @Partha: Of course !

    @Asterix: Just leave India would be enough and act as a good host for Kiran More’s wards.

    @Any: It’s not as simple as “bowlers all around the world have sorted Sehwag out”. Sehwag doesnt get out to “personalized strategies”: he gets out to any and everything bowled to him: a) edging behind b) cramped for room in playing pull c) surprised by short ball d) gap between bat and pad e) dragging ball onto stumps and then when all fails, gambolling around the crease so that Sangakarra can run him out! In other words, VS has developed severe technical and attitudinal problems.

    @Sam: Maybe I will have something to say about that some other time.

    @Shravan: I am not blaming GC entirely for the debacle.

    @The Pilgrim: Again the individual players are to blame. And they are under the cosh. The advertisers are fleeing, their houses under attack and a few of their futures in jeopardy. But what about GC who will now most probably just move onto a new assignment !


    “Tendulkar, agarkar, kumble, harbhajan and zaheer khan must retire from one dayers asap and focus on tests.

    sehwag, ganguly, uthappa, yuvraj and dhoni (in that order) are almost in the same boat – a couple more bad performances and they need to be discarded as well.”

    Yes great idea. Drop everyone ! Get “somebody” to play ! Pathan as a pure batsman. Powar as a fit athlete of the future Team India. Great.

    Let there be no debate on your sagacity !!!


    Where did you see my giving out secret info like the one you just “made up”? It was not me who told you of “secret team meetings” did I? Yes I know. VVS would have saved India. If only he could have saved himself against non-Australia opposition.
    It would be useless pointing out how SG saved RD’s career by making him wicketkeeper (because RD was under pressure in 2002 to keep his place as a pure batsman) but I am sure you can make up some “secret story” to counter that.

    @Nemo: Hmm.


    “@vamsi- just received an sms … apparently SG bribed the umpires in the bangladesh match… and the match referee.. the groundsman… vivian richards also… just so he cud become captain…”

    Sounds very reasonable. Did SG and the groundsman meet in the bar by any chance? Was SG near Woolmer’s hotel-room? Please ask your SMSing friend (unless that is Chappell himself) to confirm that.

    @Ankit: Yes very true. But really if you are going to make regional comments, at least be original.

  63. We got to have foreign coach. no other way.

    Even though you have many good coaches in india (mostly failed cricketers) they won’t get a chance. Even if a player with very good cricketing brain like jimmy is appointed as a coach, it won’t work. Bcos our players have attitude problem with them.

  64. OMG! GB is mad because when Dravid-Chappel combo was successful it was against “mediocre” teams! Not really! As counterspin has shown, it is all about the Prince! Regional comments anyone?

  65. Was just seeing O-Reilly’s “No Spin Zone”. Glad to see other people like Bill Oreilly trying to create , in Bill’s own way, a no spin zone here.

    And Ankit, you used “their Prince”….who is “their”? And you are not regional? And yes those teams were mediocre—-do try to remember the names of those teams.

  66. Its not GC’s fault..very biased post

  67. No, I meant selection criteria for the appointment of coaches. For sure, Greg Chappell, during his appointment, got some points for his skin color matching with JW, who just completed a wonder tenure, and also some extra credits because Ravi f**ing Shashtri was involved. Should we regret that we let Moody go for Sri Lanka?

  68. Good analysis. Chappell and Dravid should be held accountable and fired. But if we follow it up with status quo, that will be a mistake. Because of GC, we should not be turned off to the idea of —

    a)foreign coaches
    b)a focus on athleticism, fielding and running between the wickets.
    This we should be able to agree on. After watching Wright, Moody and Whatmore, I personally think a foreign coach, with right attitude and objectivity, is preferable to an Indian coach, but that is debatable.

    The problem starts when GC or anyone else
    a) Equates youth to athleticism. Not necessarily true.
    b) Fails to see the value of exceptional batting and bowling talents or potential thereof.

    Such batting and bowling talents are rare, particularly with India’s current bench strength. A coach’s job is to nurture and protect them — no matter how old/rich/arrogant they are — even if he has to bend the ‘process’. This is where Chappell failed. Without prima donnas — cricketers or superstar coders — in the team, where is the challenge and fun in a management job?
    In the long run, only results matter. Eleven extremely athletic fielders with average batting and ordinary bowling will not win much.

    Speaking of results, in the heat of Chappell-bashing, we should not imply that Chappell took SG-JW’s fantastic 2003 WC team and ruined it. That’s revisionism. If you look at the cumulative win percentage of 50 games during the time between WC 2003 and GC taking over, you must acknowledge a declining team. India played all cricketing nations in that period and ended with a 47% win rate.

    GC’s tenure of 62 games has 54% win rate since then in spite of a wretched second half. It peaked at 70% around the middle of the England series around the 30th game in the tenure. Admittedly, no Australia in that 30 match stretch and only four SA matches and that too at home. 15 total home games out of 30. 70% win rate with 50% home games in that stretch is not earth-shattering, but given where GC started from, I would still mark that period as a turnaround. Since then it has been all downhill – 10 wins in 33 games which is unacceptable.

    It’s not clear what went wrong at that point. Could be a collective loss of form or the fact that newcomers were sorted out by the opposition or could even be a team management and power struggle issue related to SRT-RD-GC dynamics. Possibly a combination of all three. But whatever it is, it has nothing to do with SG, he was not even in the picture. If GC now says he could not deliver because of the pressure to get SG back in the team, that’s dishonest. He got “his team” for a long period of time.

  69. Most of what you say is right.But i won’t agree with your dismissal of the 17 match winning streak as that of beating weak teams. We never used to win so many matches (be it chasing or defending) in a row even against weak opposition. we did beat pakistan 4-1 and there were some good wins against srilanka. Probably those wins against england won’t count for much. These wins were principally cos yuvraj was in the form of his life and dhoni was a lot more consistent with his hitting and the batting generally looked good.Chappell should be given some credit for it. But the gist of your article is right that chappell promised so much and ended up messing big time.

  70. When was the last time INDIA won any major tournament outside the subcontinent?? – 1985. Doesn’t that tell the story? BCCI XI has actually taken steps backward in all these years.

    Why all this useless fuming and postMortems? – BCCI Xi has been a corpse from a long time. Did you guys seriously expect the BCCI team will win the cup? Please – No nonsense about going to “atleast super8” – It would have only meant more masscare at the hands of Aussies, SA’s etc , which would have generated more useless reams of media coverage and fans comments on each and every match. Thanks god, they got KO’ed within the first stage itself. Imagine all the junk coverage we have saved ourselves from!

    All this so-called Heroes – Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid etc – figured in four Worldcups – all of them unmitigated disasters. IMO, not winning is a Disaster. Who cares about “we came into semis, finals etc..”. So, DEFEAT IN WC is not a new thing to them. What is so different about 2007? Just losing to Bangladesh?

    The biggest BANE of Indian cricket is the focus is Always on PERSONALITIES. Whether it is Ganguly, Tendulkar, Chappel.. For instance, the whole focus of last year was Ganguly – even though he was not even in the team! Even in this defeat of BCCI XI, there is focus on Personalities – Chappel! Dravid! Tendulkar! Sewag!..
    Even the normally sane GB loses his marbles here – his post-mortem is nothing but a cloak to beat verbally with “chappals” his betenoire chappell (old wounds on dear dada can never be forgiven so easily!. right?) – afterall, we need some Sacrifical goat.
    Chappel is neither a genius, nor is he a disaster like being made out here. I don’t want to get into a debate to rebuke your points, because it’s a pointless exercise. But, when your praised Woolmer for gelling a Pak team – it made me laugh. We don’t know what caused Woolmer’s death – For all you know, it could have been a deranged Paki player! .

    Indian cricket sucked before Chappell and will continue to suck after Chappel. Make no mistake about it. And also make no mistake that all these jokers of senior players who are ruling roost, will continue to enjoy.

    Just give it a month for all this tamasha to lapse and you will also join to cheer the team playing against Bangladesh, England,, cheering Dada’s 40’s and 50’s. There will be millions of blind followers cheering it on too.
    There is simply no alternative in sport or a mass cult for a desi. Right?

    I hope some joker like Madanlal, Srikanth etc gets selected as the coach and TenDUCkar as the Captain (reward for his ducks). Atleast, it will generate good comedy and entertainment.

    Good luck to your dreams to see Dada back as captain (heeh.. that was a flame. Take it easy).

  71. Agree with most part of your observations – Except that you tend to take potshots at Dravid at every possible point. Let this just not be a Dravid-Ganguly centric tussle

    “Definitely not the same process by which Rahul Dravid ticks off Sourav Ganguly for getting a SMS from a reporter, where Ganguly was not, in any way, saying anything uncomplimentary about a player or divulging team divisions.”

    You go that extra mile to say that Ganguly was not saying anything uncomplimentary – GB, No one knows what happened there and dont cast an aspersion on RD for the same..

  72. @Browser: [Insert random taunt here]. Just flaming ya pal. Take it easy.
    @VK: Just go back and look at the comments section. Someone has accused me of saying nothing about Dravid ! Ganguly didnt get the SMS and so didnt say anything. Now it may be that Dravid foresaw that Ganguly was going to say something uncomplimentary. Just like when he publicly ticked off Ganguly for encouraging Sreesanth… he evidently saw something we didnt. Now if this was the other way round with SG being captain and ticking RD off…hooo boy….my ears would be full of how SG is arrogant, how autocratic…and I would hear comments like “How did SG know that RD was going to say something bad” !

  73. “For the market forces to work, there needs to be competition to cricket. Is there?”

    Plenty. In sports, there is Formula 1, Tennis, Football (English Premier League, for example) and so on. Outside of sports, there are movies, music, general entertainment channels who are all competing with cricket for our eyeballs and time. And then besides TV, there are plenty of other avenues of entertainment – books, malls, theater, music concerts, etc. Couple of nights back I had the choice of either sitting at home and watching world cup or going to a music concert. I chose Kadri Gopalnath’s saxophone over Matthew Hayden’s bludgeon. As a result ICC lost four pairs of eyeballs.

    It is just that we ignore all those other forms of entertainment and stick to cricket. And then complain that BCCI doesn’t do anything. When there is no threat to their sales no matter how crappy product they deliver, why would they do anything to improve the quality of the product? They would be stupid to spend any money unnecessarily on improving the team when people are ready to watch in any case.

  74. Jack the Ripper March 29, 2007 — 5:41 am

    1. Hahahaha! Now we should go back and rejoice Gangu’s centuries against Kenya! Wow that is the funniest justification I have heard about “batting form”!! hahaha! you forgot the century agaist Namibia!! ROTFL

    2. Imran Khan, one of the greatest captains and thinkers of the game, thinks Rahul’s ability to put himself in the firing line and lead by example is indicative of his courage and captaincy. Perhaps we should remind you that Gangu faked injury and mysteriously opted out of Nagpur test!!:) remember?? wink wink?? Oh yeah, during his time all players(read Dravid, Dravid, Dravid, Tendu, Laxman) were in teh form of their lives and led to victories in Pakistan, Australia etc. of course their batting form was due to Gangu’s captaincy! hahahahahaha

    3. The bit about Bob Woolmer “keeping team together” takes the cake!!! Hahahahahah! Kept them together so that they can crash out against Ireland! Hahahahahaha!! why use different yardsticks for Greg and Bob GB?

    4. I never compared India to Australia. I have mentioned about Inzy and Bangaladesh and Ireland? All I meant was that, in sport you win and you lose and if you are a pathetic team like India, you are more likely to lose than win! Perhaps your love for Gangu is clogging your understanding!!! hahahaha! compared India to Australia, do not know where you got that from!!!! Now I am really at a loss of words!!!

    PS: And yes, I think we should not have any expectations of good behaviour from Eden Gardens, considering the history!! Especially given the delusions of the crowd that Gangu is the best cricketer ever, Bradman, Richards, Shane Warne, Imran, etc etc all put together!!!! I seriously wonder why Barmy army sticks through England even when they get thrashed 5-0 though.

    Your sense of objectivity and analytical reasoning really goes for a big six when GC and SG are involved!

  75. Jack the Ripper got crazy and started talking illogical and irrational. This SG hater are so biased that probably he is in lining every bong with it, even if GB also. hahaha

  76. Someone (guess its Rajeev) said Tendulkar is to Indian cricket, what Nehru is to Indian politics. Lionized beyond reason and shielded from all criticisms.

  77. @Greatbong, I am a bit skeptical on u taking a shot at Chappel. Will it be good of me, if i were to blame u when everyone on the face of the earth knows i have given u a stinker of a team. One point u should concentrate on is how much say does Chappel really have in the team selection and control of the senior players?

    Remeber Sehwag contending that he didnt feel the fitness excersice as necessary and did not attend the training session? When the attitude is such, what Chappel can do. Seniors think that they are THE GREAT and set a very bad precedence for the young players. No wonder Yuvraj and Bhajji are corrupted too. Ganguly’s, Dravid’s and Tendulkar’s are no match for the Smith’s and the Ponting’s. Its just the hype that makes them Gods of the Green. Its time to axe few and bring in some discipline.

    Chappel’s much talked of “Process” is the right way forward. Its not been successful, coz every senior didnt think to be a part of it. The ambit excludes them i guess, or they think so. Instead of Chappel’s head i would like to see more of senior players head roll.

  78. when’s part deux coming?

  79. An offtrack link to cool down the temperature!

  80. hi all, the results of the Indias next 4 matches:-

    1. India vs Pogo Hyderabad publc school(I std to 5th std) – India-XI lost by 341 runs
    2. India vs Vellalar Ladies College India -XI lost by 281 runs
    3. India vs BVB Boys School India -XI lost by 10 wickets
    4. India vs St.Marry Secondary School India -XI lost by 278 runs

    1. After Defeat to Pogo Hyderabad, Dravid says :”We have not played well & were short of 20-30 runs, pogo school guys played better then us, we have other match to play will come back strongly, and few positives from this match that the guys bowled well,& fielding was improved. I am not getting any excuses,we just got beaten by a better side. “

    Chappell: I have started a process which will deliver results in around 31 years form now. My main mantra is perform or perish. I am also doing my management education from IGNOU. That’s why I am able to speak so much of mgmt funda.

    2 After defeat -India vs Vellalar Ladies College : “The pitch was not conducive for the second innings.”

    3. After defeat – India vs BVB Boys School : “not available for comment. Was fixing a TV which was not working”

    4. After defeat – India vs St.Marry Secondary School – “(very philosophically………) That’s the beauty and cruelty of the game”

  81. Oh man this guy becomes a different man when it comes to SG and Chappell…he seriously should only stick to film reviews and such, please stay away from cricket. Your passion for dada, not that there is not anything wrong about it, everybody has his/her own heroes, defeats your usual sense of objectivity.

  82. ohhh shut up subh..this bong is bang on.

  83. Brilliantly written.

    We’ve had a terrible combination over the last 18 months: a strategist who’s been a miserable failure in every possible way in everything he has tried; and a leader who’s not been able to bring out the best in others.

    In the process, if you look at performance, we’ve seen the worst being brought out of our best – Sehwag, Tendulkar, Pathan, Harbhajan – over the last few months.

    Chappell now complains over Raina not having been included … well, he was tried out in South Africa and, I am sure, even Raina’s father would have thought of his son as a national embarrassment.

  84. Aranb,

    That was a great post. You made some rather sexcellent points. I am happy that you are writing more and more cricket articles. I hope you do realise that it is not worthwhile to retaliate to each and every comment. Not that the comments by that bufoon, Jack The Ripper deserve any reply. So dont bother screwing the Ripper in the ass big time and making him come out of his illlsuions like Ganguly faked an injury in Nagpur. Instead of replying to such cunting and asinine comments, I would rather that you write a new post. Cheers.

  85. @Subh :
    Forget the Bongs. Really interested to know your views on Chappel. Remember this post is on him & his performance as Coach. Or do you only have to say that Arnab has lost his sense of objectivity because he is Bong????

  86. @bonatellis06 :

    “Chappell now complains over Raina not having been included … well, he was tried out in South Africa and, I am sure, even Raina’s father would have thought of his son as a national embarrassment. ”

    Only a Bong can make such stupid comments. How dare you make such comments about Raina. Read this post from G Krishnan (hopefully a Non Bong 😀 ),001601420000.htm

    @CounterSpin & all other supporters of Guru Greg, read this from another Non Bong

    “John Wright maintained a personal rapport with every player. There were fights during his time too but they were mostly emotional outbursts. By the end of the day, he would occupy the seat next to you on the bus back to base camp. With Greg, a difference could mean a long and a lonely flight back home.

    Let’s recall Ganguly’s fiasco. No doubt he deserved to be dropped then, but Greg crossed limits by saying he was playing only for money. That kind of attitude is not conducive for a healthy relationship. Extreme professionalism doesn’t work in India. Chappell’s ways only instilled fear in players, and he fanned it with his own insecurity.”,001601420009.htm

  87. One can have different views on GB going off the rocker when it comes to Ganguly and Chappel, but one must admit that it is unprofessional of a coach to talk of team selection and of particular members in demeaning fashion to the media. That is reason enough to fire him as his continuance is going to fracture the team, if not already.
    Having said that, his process where the team comes first and players are able to play different roles as the situation deamnds, is wonderful. Only that it does not fit into the way cricket is played in India. Seriously, when was the last time one saw collective team effort in Ranji matches? Players consider Ranji matches as a pit stop enroute Indian team. A couple of double hundreds here and there, they are in the national team. I really wonder if the context of those double hundreds are looked at and if the person is a good team player. Ultimately you have a bunch of individuals representing India and not a team. Regarding implementation of the other process, where different players are able to play different roles, lesser said the better. It does not mean shuffling the batting order incessantly, but the players attaining the ability to pace their innings according the situation. Guys like Hussey and Clarke do that. If the team is motoring along at 300 in 40 overs, they play like pinchhitters, but if the scoreboard reads 30 for 3, they drop anchor. That is what we should have done. Guys like Dhoni and Yuvraj should have trained on those lines with the top order playing their natural game.

  88. random thoughts of a deluded mind????

  89. @Sriram: Excellent analysis.
    I will give you full marks regarding your view of GB, on why to fire Greg, Ranji players & the process.

    This is what I like about Arnabs blog. Other than his post, the comments are marvellous & very insightful.

    Thank you Sriram, even the Great Bong couldn’t have put it as simple as you put it. Sorry Arnab 🙂

  90. Arnab,

    I would wait for something on Kumble from you who will retire tomorrow. Such a prolific sportsman hasn’t been seen in Indian cricket for long long time. We all bengalis love Kumble so much, a word of honour from your genius pen err’ key-board can be a good tribute to that. Who can forget the match against Aus, that he and Agarkar fought with their bat in B’lore and the 10 wkts in Delhi and those times when everyone else failed with the ball, he did not.

  91. Here are my two penies :

    Re Greg, despite all my opposition, I recognise that we need Greg amidst Indian system. His philosophy is very unique – and his bio-mechanist friend obviously has some important technical suggestions which can only help our players – but not at the senior level.

    He need to be given the responsibilty of under 19 team and be allowed to progress with the team to the senior level. He needs the system in situ for the success of his system – in India – the basic system is not there at all. He has shown, in last 22 months that he can do very well with young impressionable minds. We enjoyed a success we never had for a brief while.

    His skills can be much better utilised in this way – it is sad that his tenure may end in this way – it could have been so much better . . .

    His strategy and tactics in relation to the game on hand – I am not sure if they are good enough – if the execution is bad, how do we know if the plan was good too. I do not remember Indians bowling to the opposition batsmen with specific plans or bowling to the weakness of a specific batsman – do you ? I am not sure, when other teams do find out these defects in technique and exploit it, why Indian team cannot ?

    Mental aspect : At least during Wright’s time we had Sandy gordon coming to have sessions with Indian players – here we have seen very rare and feeble attempts to address this particular issue . . .

    Fielding and fitness : Sorry – I cannot give him anything on this – if Austrlians can field like this at their ages, our dad’s army can do at least something. There has not been any significant inprovement – and the way to improv fielding is not through young legs – requires training – and right kind of training. Greg’s approach, as far as it has been reported in the media, is this : X and Y are not good fielders, so they are out of ODI team.

    That brings to one of the important criticism I often make of Greg – he likes a finished product and likes the finished product to improve upon himself and correct the faults, all by himself. He also has no middle path – it is all black and white for him. You can either field or not – if you cannot field, well – goodbye. It apparently does not matter if you are one of the best batsman in the world. That approach succeeds only if you plaenty of alternatives. If Bedi was truant, in his prime, you could have shown him the door and would have asked Shivalkar or Goel to step in. Here the alternative is not there – and whatever was tried, sucked. So work with the player – get the best out of him – make a compromise.
    OH ! NO ! I am uncompromising Greg Chappell.

    Man Management : Even keeping the Ganguly affair out – his management skill sucks big time. Starting from the Sachin related statements from the time he was appointed as coach, his statements and interviews bordered on PR disaster. We now have some indication that he had some issues with other senior players too. . I cannot fathom the “Rapport” with captain as I do wish to think of Dravid as a strong-willed mature individual and a gentleman.

    Despite all these, I am happy for him to stay, looking after the junior team/s and starting a process which may help us in 10 years time.


  92. @Jack the Ripper – How do you know that Ganguly faked injury ? Were you there at the dressing room or did you actually see the MRI reports ?

    Regarding Eden Gardens – the entire Indian team deserved to be booed – the way they folded against the South Africans, so if you are using that to justify an extremely obscene gesture from the coach – you got a problem.

    Get your blinkers off dude. The Dravid-GC combo are not exactly the messiah’s sent from heaven that you think they are; Ganguly is a far superior player and captain than you think he is; and yes – Eden Gardens is still one of the best cricket grounds in the country.

  93. Re Nagpur – I actually can produce report from cricinfo – describing the nature of the injury and MRI reports are briefly described in that report.

    So – Jack the ripper – you can be ripped apart – never try to make a false allegation.

  94. Your point taken – But still I thought there was no need for an unrelated RD-SG reference when the subject was about greg’s failure..
    Leaving that aside, I d like to think that India will be going for a new coach soon.. In the first place, Greg was never known to be a master coach before he was drafted to india. The only time he was in the news was about the session with ganguly on helping him out with technical corrections. Ironically, time away from GC did a world of good to SG n his batting techniques:-) I guess two things that need to be analysed before picking the next coach would be 1. His credentials 2. How well the person would be able to gel with the team and carry them as a group. Being Indian or non Indian does not make much of a difference as both have their advantages n disadvantages

  95. Breaking news- Chappell’s new autobiography coming up soon- My Experiments with Indian Cricket. Harper Collins pays undisclosed sum to Chappell for the publishing rights..can see it coming very soon..what say guys?

  96. Holy shit!. Ian Chappell says Tendulkar should consider retiring. The guys at Cricinfo tout Chappell brothers as the biggest cricketing minds ever and the same guys lionize Tendulkar. Now it should be funny to read their reactions. Waiting for the Anand Vasus and Sambit Bals to write!! 🙂

  97. Pijush, get your english right before you take an attempt at sarcasm, dude! Or has your love for SG/GB clouded your english construction too? Tell me this sweetie, do u love SG more or… do u love GB more? hahaha 😉

    Now for Mr Bufoon Bengali Boy, your hopes and aspirations are screwed, aren’t they? GB has, in all his greatness, condescended to reply to the ‘bufoon’, did you read that? Oh, I forget, your eyes are probably shut tight, which probably explains your ‘illusions’ too!

    Somsuj shona, how do we believe you, shona? Tomorrow you may be able to produce little shit pieces from your tears for SG… Try harrd, you can maybe, just like how hard you tried to rip the ripper!

    And finally Anonymous, dude, we will all, collectively get our blinkers off, promise! But… the condition is… that you will bet your head on Ganguly’s performance? Do u have the guts!? Then SG comes like this messiah sent from heaven for you and places your head back on your shoulders eh!? chuckles…

  98. Candy “baba” I do not ask you to believe me – I did not ask anyone to believe me – I said that I can produce a report from the same cricinfo that Ganguly was indeed injured. Whether you believe it or not is your prerogative and keep your bullshits in your pocket – I do not have to even try to trample chicken-shits like you, I made my reputation elsewhere – and pulverised shit-pieces like you.
    (I always reply in kind)

  99. On one of the TV channels, I was horrified to see one of the self styled “cricket historians” go hammer and tongs at Chappel when the SMS to the PTI journalist was leaked. He went on saying that Chappel is merely trying to cover up and shift the blame. If he had misgivings about the team selection, he should have voiced it BEFORE the world cup and not AFTER the team had lost!

    A few hours later, it was revealed that the incriminating SMS was infact delivered BEFORE the team India left for the Windies. But the same cricket historian was brazenly going for Chappel’s throat saying that the voicing of a opinion on a team selection to which he was privy to was a breach of contract and he ought to be prosecuted for it!

    Whoa! And I thought only historians of the like of a certain Ms. Thapar were capable of twisting situations to their liking.

  100. Somsuj, plz produce the medical report and the MRI report.
    And all the bullshit is in your comments dude, nothing in my pockets.
    Alas! You have made your reputation pretty ugly here, dirtying your hand in this dirty game :p Look down, your feet are dirty trampling on chicken shit, hahaha!

  101. Candy “babab” – I shall produce the report – but you need to say what amount of shit you are going to eat after seeing the report.

    (GB, apologies – I cannot let this piece of shit go without his bottom been smacked again and again)

  102. I have a personal consipracy theory regarding Chappall. Austrialians had planted him to kill team India. When they saw that India (under John Wright and dada) are emerging as their challengers (reaching WC 2003 final) to the no.1 team position, they sent Chappall with the mission of ruining the Indian team. So he systematically finished off the Irfan Pathans, Kaifs and Kumbles, tried to finish dada and brought down the potential threat to Aussies to the current state. The WC exit was the triumph of the Aussie mission. I rest my case.

  103. sb says:

    “Tendulkar, agarkar, kumble, harbhajan and zaheer khan must retire from one dayers asap and focus on tests.

    sehwag, ganguly, uthappa, yuvraj and dhoni (in that order) are almost in the same boat – a couple more bad performances and they need to be discarded as well.”

    gb says:

    Yes great idea. Drop everyone ! Get “somebody” to play ! Pathan as a pure batsman. Powar as a fit athlete of the future Team India. Great.

    Let there be no debate on your sagacity !!!

    sb says (again):

    very well paraphrased, barring two minor disconnects:

    – i never claimed that i would (could) play for india (this in response to putting somebody in quotes)

    – i never complemented powar’s fitness. if actresses can get in and out of shape, why can’t powar? do you dispute that his bowling (right now) is better than harbhajan or kumble?

    on the retirement front, with all due respect to kumble, one down. while his retirement was not as well planned as gavaskar’s, i would rank it right behind gavaskar’s among india’s better known cricketers :-).

    don’t forget that when ganguly scored in the 80s in a recent and was re-picked as a batsman following that performance, pathan scored a century in the same match. won’t you agree that an over or two from pathan (somewhere in the middle of the innings) would pack more punch than an over or two from tendulkar/ganguly/sehwag/yuvraj?

    note that i have never been a good debater, so i might not ‘win’ this debate; on the other hand, i will not take it to a personal level either – if you wish to do so, feel free, after all it is your award winning blog.

    – s.b.

  104. @Candy – I will bet in Ganguly’s performance anyday. Don’t try to deviate from the subject by playing with words. I made three statements –

    1. The Dravid-GC combo are not exactly the messiah’s sent from heaven that you think they are;
    2. Ganguly is a far superior player and captain than you think he is;
    3. Eden Gardens is still one of the best cricket grounds in the country.

    Now prove me wrong with facts baby. In general people try to get personal (“do you have the guts” and all that shit) if they run out of rational arguments. Which is what I suspect has happened in your case. 🙂

  105. interestingly, when the coach was being selected, another polite, intelligent Aussie, Tom Moody, was also interviewed. At that time, I was pretty convinced that the Indian team would do well with Moody (and giving a few seniors the boot). But most supporters and the media went gaga over Chappell (perhaps due to his stellar performance as a player).

    Too bad. But great for Sri Lanka. Moody has been fantastic for them.

  106. Dileep Doshi in todays’s TOI : What ails Indian cricket?
    I think Mark Waugh hit the nail on the head in a recent interview where he said that players from the subcontinent rarely gel as a collective force. Most of them play for individual glory. I think we have always had brilliant players, who on their day have won us matches, and because we don’t really play as a well-knit unit, the Indian team has failed to win consistently in international cricket.

    Mark Waugh is absolutely correct. Why blame Greg Chappell? All these players play for themselves. Arnab blame yourself and not Greg Chappell.

  107. Chappell is guilty of :

    Making unsubstantiated allegations against senior players, destroying the career of Irfan Pathan through mindless experimentation and nearly destroying that of Bhajji, trying to be the dictator in the team and making things difficult for the mild mannered Dravid.

    And when it comes to being accountable for his actions he hides under vague statements about “collective responsibility” and whines about not being given the team he needs. Despite his failings as a captain – Dravid at least had the honesty to accept responsibility as a captain. Not “Guru Greg” though. I guess by now we know how important this job as Indian coach is for his finances (we have heard that before haven’t we ?) !!!

    What I also find intriguing is that the same people in the media who were so self-righteous in 2003 after the loss in the final and were asking for the coach and the captain’s head (“CEO’s are accountable if their company does badly” and all that crap — remember ??) are today virtually running a campaign to save RD & GC’s job. For examples – read TOI.

    Excellent post GB – as always. 🙂

  108. Excellent post GB as usual. The crookinfo gang and Mr More are obviously out to protect their favorite players/partners and the debate goes on. However in all this I think we are forgetting – our pitiful bench strength. Ok lets drop Sehwag, DADA, thandakaar (I love the name BTW), Bhaaji, Aagekaar, Pathan and some others. But who to replace them? The selectors have given enough opportunities to Kaif, Raina and to some lesser extent Dinesh Mongia. Where was there performance? Their shambolic performances opened the door for dada to sneak back in. Same thing goes with the bowlers. Sreesanth, VRV Singh etc have all been given opportunities did they grab them , NO. So Agarkar being such a non-performer for so long still survives. Of the present lot only Dinesh Kartik and Romesh Pawar are any good. So I sincerely believe this was by far the best 11 India could muster up. And I shudder to think what’s infront of us in the coming years when Dravid, SRT, DADA, Kumble and VVS retires.

  109. Greg must leave, no question there. Get rid of the aging players (Sachin/Sourav/Rahul) from the ODIs. Select a young captain for ODIs with 2011 in mind. Let the big THREE play in tests for now. Rahul can continue to lead in tests. Over a period of time induct the younger players who find success in ODIs into the test team.

  110. @yourfan2:

    Excellent post dude. Wonder if you should be posting on PP’s blogs as well. Somebody needs to shut his *big* mouth up.

  111. Great post dude. No one talks about BCCI and how it has failed to nurture cricket at ground levels in India inspite of having so much money.

  112. Ok Greatbong,

    Ok. Allright.. (taking a deep breath) Ganguly is a great player, and he (and Dravid) has mostly handled pressure much better than Tendulkar and Sehwag. Mostly, Ganguly has played when Indian team needed him to, unlike Tendulkar who has let us down so many times in crunch situations.
    True. Chappell isnt a great coach (whatever his excuses for the team not performing, he did not get players he wanted etc)

    The crux of the matter is that we dont know whether the coach is wrong or the “senior players lobby”. Going by the news, both are responsible for the debacle. The coach failed and the players failed. Plain and simple.

    But when YOU praise Ganguly (as if he has no faults) or badmouth Chappell or Dravid, it sounds downright vernacular, regional, cheap and motivated. Like it or not. Only that your language is a lot better than the average slum-dweller. Its pretty much like your adoration of Mithun. Lets ignore the numbers and ground reality, Mithun/Ganguly are Gods and Princes, and they can never be wrong.

    Sickening indeed to read your Ganguly-worship, and hate-anyone-who-ever-criticized-Ganguly-or-Mithun.

    Justify it as much as you want, but do you realize that you are doing too much of this Ganguly mithun fanboy thing?

  113. Hey retard , your just another fukin loser fan of indian cricket who refuses to face reality. Our pussies in blue played like school kids and boom we find a scapegoat…I hope India loses every match it ever plays again. By the way I’m an indian too so fuk u. You fukin bengali retards will be rioting for ganguly to be in the team even when he’s old and senile. Get a life loser.

  114. @SID you are a parochial asshole. We dont need “Indian’s” like you (before you start your parochial rant – I am not a Bengali – nor do I live in Calcutta) who can see things only from the point of view of whether someone is a Bangali, Tamil, Punjabi etc etc. So put your tail between your legs and get lost !!!

  115. nice post. I do not agree to everything said by arnab and much has been already said by the knowledgeable cricket junta commenting and fighting here. Not much different than our cricket team. Btw, how many of you actually played cricket at any decent level?

  116. Sehwag ko MAYUR pehnao;

    Sachin ko PEPSI pilao;

    Dhoni ko BRYLCREEM lagwao;

    Ganguly ko Chavnpras khilao ;

    Dravid mein CASTROL bharwao;

    yuvraj ko MALAI MARKE LASSI pilao

    Lekin in Models ko cricket mat khilwao..

  117. Chappel did a poor job. Bad coach. He’s left, thank God.

    Lets get on though? Why the f… did not people of India just shut up and watch things unfold when Ganguly was initially dropped? Maybe then Chappel would indeed have made more bold changes, failed of course, and we could have really roasted him having let him have his way. No. The bangla pride kicks in, parliamentarians fall to the parochial sydrome and its dada dada dada for the next n months. Digusting to most non-bongs. Whats the big deal if one big gun, out of form, is left in the cold for a bit?

    To this day, I’ve not yet come across a bong (amidst 15 or so I know) that actually thought Ganguly should have been dropped when he was, without ANY ifs and buts. Simply sack the mf, not one of them said. They all wanted more rope in one form or another or found fault with Chappell or this methods as proxy protest. And then we have one idiot above preaching patriotism and how the British and goras divide and rule! Wah bhai wah!

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out this bong syndrome. What really made it all the more baffling were recent comments by some B’desh player at the WC b4 the India game. Questioned by the press, he was like SRT is a great, RD very very good… but dada is dad , is the toast for us, really popular…something like that. If a b’deshi can feel the bong pride, I guess one has to cut slack for desi bongs.

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of the career of your golden boy. But, but, do elect him for CM or something years down. He’s a great leader with the common good at heart (first non-parochial Indian cricket captain) and I think he will do more good than other politician has ever done Bengal.. this is not in jest.

  118. @Steve – It is OK for Bal Thackerey to come up in support of Sachin Tendulkar right? So Bong pride is not OK but Marathi pride is ??.. And before you make assumptions – I am not a Bong; I live in Bangalore and have seen quite a bit of Kannada and Tamil parochialism in terms of support for Dravid despite a pathetic show as captain and players from TN (e.g Balaji). So I do not think any Indian worth his salt should play this “holier than thou” game. And by the way I too have a large number of Bong friends (more than 15 in fact !!) and all of them agree that when Dada was dropped – he didn’t deserve to be on the team purely on cricketing merit. Why don’t you come to Bangalore and try to make a local agree that on performance Dravid doesn’t deserve to be the captain !! Being so judgemental purely on personal experiences can be dangerous.

    Since you are so offended by people criticising Chappell may be you wouldn’t mind answering these questions:

    1. Despite Greg’s big statements about grooming youngsters why was he unable to groom a single junior player? Look at the youngsters who blossomed under the John Wright/Dada regime: Bhajji, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Nehra, Kaif, Irfan Pathan etc etc etc …

    2. The list of “senior players” who are supposed to be the “mafia” includes (in addition to Sachin !!! ) Ganguly, Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan. All three of them were out of the ODI side for fairly long periods of time. So what prevented Guru Greg from building his dream team with youngsters during their absence?

    3. Somehow the timing of Greg’s e-mails and SMS leaks are becoming very predictable. Just like during the sordid Ganguly episode – the leaks were timed strategically before crucial BCCI meetings. Why ?

    4. What was Dravid doing all this time ? Wasn’t he the one who wanted Sehwag (supposedly of of the “seniors”) in the side? If he lets himself bullied and pushed around (if that really happened) – what does that tell about his abilities as a leader?

    So if we put all these together, don’t you agree that Greg deserves all the flak he has been getting (from Bongs and non-Bongs alike), that he was trying desperately to save his job at all costs, that it was he who wanted to be the boss and was dividing the team, and – good riddance, now that he is gone !!!

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