Sachin under a huge burden: Greg

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Greg Chappell is probably the most elegant batsman that Australia has produced. His batting was cool and composed, without being casual.

He started his Test career with a classy 108 on against England at Perth. He also finished his Test career with an elegant 182 against Pakistan. Thus his first and last innings in Test cricket were centuries.

He was also an excellent slip fielder taking many a brilliant catch in the second slip.

He shared his thoughts about the present Australian team with Debashish Dutta.

Do you think Sachin Tendulkar has failed in Australia ?
I would not say so. He was not very consistent. But I think Sachin had reasonable success. And please do not forget that Sachin was under great pressure right throughout the tour. From the very beginning, he was isolated by the opponent that if you can get his wicket cheaply, you are very much in the business. So it was not an easy job for him. As I told you earlier, I would not blame him. It was almost a one-man team. This is certainly not a very healthy signal.

Do you think Sachin should give up captaincy?
No doubt captaincy is a huge burden. I really do not know whether he is enjoying the responsibility or not. I think he is the best judge in this regard. The selectors should talk to him. If he is better off only as a batsman, he should tell them. Don't forget India is not a good, balanced side. So they cannot afford to burden their best batsman. The question here is whether Tendulkar has enough good players in his side. Any captain would like to have quality players around him. One should think about this before judging Sachin.

Did you anticipate that Australia would do so well ?
They are playing excellent cricket. They have key players in every department. No doubt, the Australian team prepared well for both the series against Pakistan and India. They are a disciplined side. Cohesion was top class. Steve Waugh motivated the team very well. The team stuck together, whatever the situation.

Critics feel that winning the World Cup is the key factor for Australia's success. How far is it true?
It has definitely played a major role. They are now always cautious about the fact that they are the world champions. This is a great label. So the whole team is very serious.

Which other teams in world cricket can seriously challenge the Australians?
Pakistan, South Africa and Australia are the top three teams in international cricket today. They are well balanced and have great depth in all the departments. Pakistan and South Africa can beat Australia any given day. But right now the Australians are the best team as far as form is concerned.

Stuart Macgill is bowling well. Should he replace Shane Warne in the One-day Version?
No, you cannot drop Shane Warne. If he is fit, he should definitely be in the team, be it the Tests or the limited version. Macgill will have to wait now. But he has to accept it. But considering his current performances, he can easily walk into any of the international teams.

Did you expect to be selected for the of Australia team in this century?
Honestly not. This is the best accolade one can dream to achieve. If you browse through the list, you will see the names of the legends of the game. I am elated that I have been selected in the team which is captained by Sir Donald Bradman.

Cricketers like Lindsay Hassett and Victor Trumper do not figure in the team of the century. Are you surprised ?
Over the years, Australia has produced superstar cricketers. Every generation has seen great cricketers. I think any one can make two Australian teams of equal strength very easily. But I guess the difference would be Don Bradman. If we can get him to bat for both the teams, then the match would be a certain thriller.

What are the secrets for the success of the Aussie teams throughout the last century?
I would say the positive attitude of our society. All the Australian captains were very attacking. Everyone wanted to win. Sports is a passion in Australia. The cricketers had the support of the public all the way through. We had to respond.

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