Indian selectors have no plan for the future: Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell criticised BCCI for allowing senior players to have too much say Getty Images

New Delhi: Aug 25, 2011

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell slammed the Indian Board for letting its senior players have too much say and the selectors for being negligent which has led to this debacle in England.

“The BCCI are in the business of making money, more so than cricket. They have let the senior players have a bit too much say in what they want and the selectors have been negligent in their duty,” Chappell was quoted as saying in ESPNCricinfo.

Chappel had even some more harsh words for Srikkanth-led committee for failing to plan for their future and get the combination of players right.

“It almost seems to me like the selectors have said: this is a terrific period for us, we are going to make the most of it, and if we leave the mess to the next lot, too bad. I say that they have not done anything really to plan for the future at all,” Chappell added.

Chappell feels that as long as country’s cricketing set-up produces fine leaders, a team will always provide good results.

“All you have got to do is have a system that produces good young, skilful, competitive cricketers. And if you are producing a number of good, strong leaders then you will be fine. If you are going to produce leaders, then it is not going to matter if you are going to play Test, one-day or Twenty20 matches.”

Chappell has also questioned the selection committee’s intent of finding a potent bowling attack for all conditions.

“India need a decent bowling attack to build a good team around. When India became the No. 1 Test team, I said that I did not see them maintaining that position under all the different conditions. They have not also faced up to the fact that Harbhajan Singh has not been a good attacking weapon for at least for a good two years now. And where are the good fast bowlers?,” he questioned.

“Apart from the fact that the selectors have not faced up to the issue of an ageing batting line-up that is terrible in the field in a five-day game,” he fumed.

For the ruthless former Aussie skipper, a winning team should never feel tired.

“I have never seen a winning team tire. All the tired teams are the ones that are losing. India at the moment are losing. India should have been able to stay at the No. 1 for a quite a long time because have a look at the numbers that play the game, just for starts.

“Then they have got all the money, but if it is not well administered then the money does not mean anything,” his statement has a note of caution attached to it.

Chappell thinks that BCCI should have thought about phasing out legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in order to enable smooth passage for the talented youngster into Test cricket.

“It was time probably two years ago. There is no doubt that Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman are certainly amongst the best batsmen, but have they picked the right young players in the squad?”

He termed Rohit Sharma as a far better batsman than Suresh Raina but selectors should show faith in him.

“Rohit Sharma is twice as good a batsman as Suresh Raina and he has not yet played Tests. Okay, there may be personality problems, and Rohit might not have a big amount of first-class runs, but you don’t worry about all that. You just back your judgement. Some guys adapt to the big stage faster than others.”

Chappell cited Graeme Hick as “classic example” of how a player develops technical deficiencies once he stays at the domestic level for too long.

“You can’t leave guys at the lower level for too long. Graeme Hick is a classic example. He played a lesser standard of cricket way too long and by the time he played Test cricket he had flaws that were found out. If he had played Test cricket earlier maybe he would not have got into sloppy habits. You have got to get Rohit up there and find out whether he can do it.”

Chappell urged selectors to be impartial while selecting national squads.

“You do not pick teams to please people; you pick teams to win cricket matches, but while you are always picking a team to win the next game, you are also selecting a team with an eye on the future. Good selectors are good enough to do both: pick a team that will win and also know when the time has come to start making some changes.” (PTI)