Chappell was of great help, say Aussies

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Australian think-tank believe they have immensely benefited from the team's practice stint in Jaipur under former India coach Greg Chappell.

Updated: September 30, 2008 11:45 IST
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Greg Chappell may not have helped his already slender popularity in India by offering his service to Ricky Ponting and his men, but the Australian think-tank hardly care about what critics feel here and believe they have immensely benefited from the team's practice stint in Jaipur.

Since Chappell joined the Australian team management as the assistant coach and hosted Ponting and party at the Jaipur academy he heads, many feared he would pass on Team India 'secrets' to the visitors. Some saw it as unethical and even dubbed the former Australian captain a double agent.

Australia coach Tim Nielsen and captain Ricky Ponting, however, are not interested in the details of the criticism and believe they got just the right preparation for the forthcoming four-match Test series against India and feel credit should go to Chappell.

"He is a good resource, not just as a player but also as a coach and that was the idea behind getting him on board," Nielsen said on Tuesday.

"We started coaching together some 10-12 years back. He is also the chief coach of the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. It was a win-win situation for us and it was double bonus that he coached India in the past," Nielsen said.

"He was of immense help, for he understands the wickets here and we would use his experience as much as we can," he added.

Pace spearhead Brett Lee also felt that the team learnt a lot from Chappell and said bowlers and batsmen benefited alike from the former captain.

"He was outstanding and shared his inputs with us. Bowlers, batters - all were soaking up information from him and enjoyed his presence around," Lee said.

Captain Ponting too felt the side spent some quality time with Chappell in Jaipur and the preparation could not have been better.

"It was the perfect tour preparation. The academy provided all possible helps. At the academy, we got different types of wickets and plenty of practice bowlers as well," he said.

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