I haven't discussed Indian team: Chappell

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/g/gregchappell.jpg' class='caption'> Greg Chappell said he possesses no classified information about the Indian team, and if he did, would not hand it over to his new employer Australia.

Updated: October 01, 2008 13:52 IST
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Clearing all rumuours about his role as a a double agent, former India coach Greg Chappell said he possesses no classified information about the Indian team, and if he did, would not hand it over to his new employer Australia.

Chappell, who stepped down as coach of the Indian team more than 18 months ago, is presently touring with Ricky Ponting's men as an assistant to coach Tim Nielsen.

His mere presence with the Aussies for the four-match Test series has flared up rumours that he would pass on vital information regarding the Indian outfit to Nielsen.

However, Chappell, who is also advisor with the Rajasthan Cricket Academy, has rubbished such claims.

"To be quite honest we haven't discussed the Indian team. The Australians have played against India pretty regularly in recent times, I think they have got enough footage and personal experience with the Indian team to understand what they have to do," Chappell was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I don't feel I have any sensitive information, and professionalism suggests there are certain things that are not available to the Australians. Anyway, there is nothing I know that they don't know," he added.

"I don't think anyone should think that they solely own the wisdom of the game and try and keep it to themselves. That is very unhealthy for everybody involved and unhealthy for the game.

"The game of cricket is all about sharing information over the years. Australians are head coaches of four or five countries now. During my young days I learnt a lot from my stint in county cricket.

"Kolkata Knight Riders at the moment are training at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane and lots of young Indians have benefited from that academy.

"We provide any facilities in Australia to anyone including Indians when they tour Australia. We are keen to share ideas and will continue to do that," he said at a press conference.

Chappell said he was amused by the talks of he sharing the Team India secrets he gained earlier to help Australia during the Test series and the conflict of interest as RCA chief consultant and Australian assistant coach.

"I am amused by some of the discussions going around for the last few days. I am also flattered by the fact that people think that I wield a magic wand and can change things overnight.

"In Test cricket success is all about doing hard work and doing basics right. I was just trying to make sure the (Australian) team has these. People are being unduly nervous and concerned about things not important.

"There are no secrets whatsover between the two teams now. I believe the Indian players must also been amused by the talks going around in the last few days."

Chappell also dismissed talks of Indians having lost the home advantage after the Australian team got the facilities to acclimatise with Indian conditions by having a camp here ahead of the Test series.

"I don't think just four or five days spending here by the Australians will make Indians losing the home advantage. Cricket is not rocket science, it is pretty basic. There are certain things to do if you want to be successful and there are certain things you avoid doing.

"The series will be decided by which team is able to put the basics together consistently and prepared to work the hardest. Mental aspects are as important as physical aspects. The team that shapes up better mentally will be the favourite team," he said.

"The focus of the Australian team for the last few days has been to acclimatize to the conditions, the food, the wider environment and cricket environment. Most of the guys have been here before not in the seniors team but with A team or academy team," Chappell said.

The former Australian captain warned the Indians not to think that Ricky Ponting is under pressure to perform in India where he has a poor record of scoring just 172 runs from 14 innings.

"There is not much wrong in Ponting. He got a great record all around the world. He is conscious of the fact that his record here is not so good as compared to other countries. He has to trust his methods and I have no doubt he will succeed.

"There have been probably been a few occasions earlier in India where he has gone away from those methods and that has been part of his failure in India.

"I can see a steely glint in his eyes and that means a few runs around in India this time. If I were in the Indian team that would be the thing that would have been worried me."

On the strategy of his team in the series, Chappell said the visitors will have to take care of Indian pacers also though spin would be the Indian strength.

"It will be interesting to see what sort of wicket conditions it will be. Historically in India spinners have been dominant. We have been discussing how to best play the spinners. But you can't forget the pace bowlers, during the risky period. The ball will reverse swing at different times."

Chappell said the inexperienced Australian team has the wherewithal to repeat the 2004 series win.

"The team is in transition after the retirement of some great players. But with that comes the opportunity for somebody to step up in win for Australia. Historically whenever such an opportunity come somebody had won matches for Australia. We are hoping that happens in this series. It is exciting time for Australian cricket," he said.

Chappell also spoke at length about his fond memories of Indian cricket when he was at the helm of affairs and about Sachin Tendulkar's impending world record of highest runs in Test cricket.

"With all the noise being made, the experience I got in the last three years working in India is inestimable. It's been a wonderful experience and it's enjoyable for the most part. I have great regard for India and great regard for Indian cricket.

"As far as Sachin is concerned, I and all Australian players have great respect for him and recognise what a champion batsman he is and if he overtakes Lara's record we will be the first ones to congratulate him."

On the retirement of Indian fab four, he said the players themselves should be given the right to decide when to quit the game.

"From the point of view of retirement each individual player has the right to make his own decision. When you do that, you take the risk of selectors might take a decision before you make your own decision. That's life and that's the way it should be," he said.

Chappell said Australian coach Tim Nielson was the one who suggested that the world champions train at the RCA Academy.

"The original idea came up when Tim Nielsen talked to me some months ago that the Australian team would want to come to RCA academy. But at that time since Champions Trophy was in the calendar that would have been difficult.

"He did say that if CT was cancelled they would consider coming here. The idea was as most of the players are coming for the first time for Test cricket, they would want to have a camp here. I then spoke to Lalit Modi (RCA chief) and that was how it came through," he said.

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