Chappell set to take India to next level

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Just half an hour after the official announcement, India's newly appointed coach, Gregory Stephen Chappell, appeared wearing the tri-colour.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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New Delhi:

Just half an hour after the official announcement, India's newly appointed coach, Gregory Stephen Chappell, appeared before the country's media wearing the tri-colour on his sleeve. The 56-year-old from Adelaide promised to take Indian cricket into the next level. Unanimous decisions don't always happen in Indian cricket, but this time all the six members of the BCCI's selection panel, voted in favour of Chappell. His selection came after all the four candidates including Mohinder Amarnath, Tom Moody and Desmond Haynes were interviewed, in a process that lasted for more than seven hours. These were few pros and cons that BCCI selection committee had to consider. Strong contention Chappell is considered one of the best thinkers of the modern game, but like the saying goes, good players rarely make good coaches. On the other hand, the fact that fellow Australian Tom Moody had recently retired from international cricket meant he knew the modern game pretty well. But it also meant that for him to command respect from the Indian players would not be that easy. Another candidate, Former West Indian opening batsmen Desmond Haynes, was a last-minute inclusion and promised to give Indians that extra edge in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. But his limited coaching experience did very little to impress the BCCI selection panel. There's no doubting the fact that the only Indian candidate for the post Mohinder Amarnath, knows Indian cricket the best, but being an Indian meant that he would be doubted for favouritism. Share of controversies In the end, the appointment of the new coach for the Indian cricket team, arguably the most sought-after position in world cricket, did have its share of controversies. Issue of an Indian or a foreigner batsmen or a bowler and names of new candidates kept cropping up every week, with all the ingredients of a Bollywood masala film. But Chappell's greater stature within the game, and his ability to out think the opponent, along with his his credentials as a batsman and as a captain are second to none. In addition to this his image as a hard task master and with India going through a bad patch, the BCCI, it seems, has found a perfect replacement to John Wright, who ironically had beaten Chappell five years ago for the same post. And even though Chappell's stint with coaching started only in 1998, he was instrumental in helping South Australia win two consecutive Sheffield Shield titles in 1998 and 1999. Always the front-runner The Indian cricket fraternity believes he was always the front-runner for the job. "Coach should be some one who you should look up to," said Raj Singh Dungarpur, former President, BCCI. That the new coach he has impeccable cricketing credentials, is not disputed. His coaching methods have proved just as effective as his playing style, and his advocacy of positive thinking is just as famous as his reputation as a motivator. And with India having made steady progress under John Wright, Greg Chappell's responsibility will be to take India to the next level, and perhaps dethrone the Aussies from their invincible status.

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