Mumbai: Noted sports psychologist BP Bam says Greg Chappell's entry in the high profile series build-up is aimed at irritating Dhoni's men and India will lose this battle the moment they react to the former coach's role.
There seems to be more than meets the eye to Australia coach Mickey Arthur's invitation to involve former India coach Greg Chappell in their preparations for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series which kicks off with the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26. (Read: Chappell's mad; Dravid lacked courage to revolt: Ganguly)
The decision to invite Chappell to address the team may be a ploy to irritate the Indians since 'Guru' Greg is abhorred by many seniors in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team.
Greg's Fierce Focus
More dislike for Chappell emerged after the release of his recent book, Fierce Focus where he revealed that Sachin Tendulkar was "mentally fragile" when he was not amongst the runs in 2006. To be fair to Chappell, he also made a mention about the extraordinary expectations that Tendulkar has to put up with, something that even Sir Don Bradman did not have to cope with.
However, renowned Indian sports psychologist Dr BP Bam reckoned the Indians shouldn't get annoyed with Australia's 'tactics'. "It's clearly a trick played by the Aussies to irritate the Indians. The Australians can go to any extent.
"It is impossible to stay away from all these tricks, but our cricketers shouldn't get annoyed. This will be their real test. They must not react. If they allow these things to weigh on their minds, they can lose focus and the opponents will win the first battle. Aussies are famous for distracting the opposition," Dr Bam told MiD DAY yesterday.
Chappell, who quit as India coach after the disastrous exit in the 2007 World Cup, was also a part of Australia's think-tank as batting consultant and mentor in the 2008-09 series which India won 2-0. He left Indian shores after the second Test in Mohali.
Bam felt Chappell's inputs could provide a psychological boost to the home team. "Since Greg Chappell has worked with the Indian team, his inputs can help the Australians a great deal in their preparations especially in the five-day format. His inputs will help the Aussies to develop thorough strategies. It can put pressure on our cricketers," said Nasik-based Bam before concluding, "but I am confident that our batsmen can cope with all these distractions. Otherwise, they would not be so successful."
Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly stressed on Aaj Tak channel over the weekend that Chappell's inputs won't make much of a difference. "If you look back at the 2008 series which happened to be my last, Chappell was part of the Australian team's support staff. Yet, we won the series 2-0. I don't think his presence will make any difference this time either," said Ganguly.
The former India captain went one step further to say that not even Sir Don Bradman would be able to stop anyone from performing on their day.
Brother Ian wrote...
And if Indian supporters want more assurance that Chappell's presence won't necessarily translate into success for Australia, sample what Ian Chappell wrote for MiD-DAY when his brother was appointed batting consultant for the 2008-09 series in India: "If the Indian players start losing sleep because Greg Chappell is in bed with the enemy then they need a sharp wake-up call.
What can Greg tell the Australians they don't already know about this Indian batting line-up? If the Australian captain (it was Ricky Ponting then) doesn't know how he wants his bowlers to attack Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman after playing against them for a decade, then Greg isn't going to be of much help. If the Australian batsmen don't already have their own plan to cope with Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan then Greg would be better off taking in the sights of Agra."
Over to Melbourne!