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Chappell sees Sehwag as future India captain

Published: Saturday, May 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi:India's new cricket coach Greg Chappell has identified dashing opener Virender Sehwag as a potential captain even as he marked out a core group for the near future.

Chappell made the observations last week during his presentation to an elite panel that selected him as coach till the 2007 World Cup, The Hindu newspaper reported on Saturday.

"With Sehwag expressing future captaincy aspirations, the learning process for future leadership roles needs to be viewed as critical," Chappell is reported to have told the panel.

Chappell named skipper Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sehwag, Venkatsai Laxman, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh as the core group of the national team.

He also classified spinners Kumble and Harbhajan as match-winning bowlers.

"World class and complementary spinners, they have carried the workload admirably for a number of years," said the former Australian captain.

Chappell praised his predecessor John Wright of New Zealand for taking the team to a good level in the international arena.

"The highlight of this period (with Wright as coach) was the greatly improved performance of India away from home," he said.

Chappell was, however, concerned about India's pace attack.

"(Ashish) Nehra and (Zaheer) Khan have struggled to provide the penetration to get early wickets. They have also been injury prone which has meant the balance of the attack has been negatively affected."

"Young (Irfan) Pathan is still learning and his recent problems (loss of ability to swing the ball) needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Balaji displays promise as confirmed recently in discussion with Kapil Dev."

Chappell, who played the last of his 87 Tests in 1984, scored 7,110 runs at an average of 53.86 with 24 centuries. He also played 74 one-dayers, scoring 2,331 runs at 40.18.

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