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Too much of method might ruin Sehwag: Chappell

Published: Saturday, September 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Harare:Even as he is gunning for captain Sourav Ganguly, India's cricket coach Greg Chappell says that his biggest challenge is to harness Virender Sehwag whose explosive talent should not be "ruined" by applying "too much method".

Three months into his job as the coach, the Australian great, who has created headlines with his extra-ordinary attack on Ganguly whom he considers unfit to lead the team,regards the dashing Sehwag as a "rare talent"

"He is so instinctive that there is a fear if too much of method is applied on him, it might end up ruining his rare talent," Chappell told PTI in an exclusive interview here.

"He is a delightful and most interesting person. He probably in many ways will be one of the great challenges of my coaching stint in India," said Chappell as he looked to harness the talent of Sehwag for the benefit of the Indian team.

The former Australian captain said that Sehwag has been getting the starts but has not been able to convert them into big scores.

"Sehwag has lately been getting off to his customary explosive starts but is unable to convert them into big knocks. Finding a way to use his immense talent efficiently and in the best way for the balance of the team is going to be my biggest challenge.

Chappell said he had some thoughts on how to get the best out of Sehwag but would prefer discussing it with the dashing batsman first.

"I have some thoughts on it and I will share it with him before I do it with the rest of the world. I have been thinking and talking about it in the last few weeks and have got some ideas which might just challenge and interest him enough to bring the best out of him, Chappell said.

"The Sri Lankan series might be a good way to try those thoughts and get the best out of him."

Chappell has similar high opinions about a few others in the squad and Irfan Pathan, having done so well in the recent Zimbabwe tour, was right up there in his list.

"Pathan is an exciting talent in Indian cricket. He has hunger. He has talent. He wants to be successful and wants to know what he has to do to achieve so.

"If we can have 15 players with that desire and hunger, we can go forward. There have been half a dozen or so guys, as well as few seniors who have been most impressive. There are couple of gaps in the equation but the nucleus is there."

Chappell also felt India's bowling could be competitive if players had the right work ethics and fitness levels.

"At full strength we are okay. We have the right balance of players provided injuries, form or illness don't eat into our squad at various times."

Chappell was similarly optimistic about batting, more so with the imminent return of Sachin Tendulkar, but said they must look to seize on the little things which can make a big difference.

"I think at full strength the batting is quite good. WithSachin to come back it gives us flexibility.

"But then there are issues like running between the wickets which can add up to the big things, which are extremely important, he said.

Historically, in every team there are some people who run better with each other than with others. Again it will be a great challenge from the coaching point of view to put theright pairings together," Chappell said.

Chappell termed it as an ideal situation if there were not much changes in the one-day and Test squads which India puts on the field in future.

"Ideally, I would like the two squads to be as close as possible. There should be as little crossover as possible. It is good for players as well as for coaches who lose on a set of players for a while and when they come back, the communication is not easy. In an ideal world, majority should be the same.

"On the present tour, there were seven cross-overs for the Test series. One would prefer much less than that though some changes are inevitable."

Chappell said he had identified the 18 players who could form the nucleus of the squad for the 2007 World Cup though he had not yet shared it with selectors.

"I have identified them but not shared it with selectors so far. I have a vision but everyone has to buy into it, the administrators, selectors, the coaching staff and the players. I have to push that message and vision.

"If the process is not continuously going to be interrupted and if we can keep doing so for sometime, I have no doubt we would be a very competitive team in world arena."

"2007 World Cup might look a long way off but in my mind, there is not much time to waste." When he took up the job, Chappell said, he had anticipated some hiccups would come along the way but so far, his vision remains unimpaired.

"I have a very clear vision. I knew from time to time, hiccups would come, there would be waves on the ocean. "Hopefully, we are not on a dingy, we can survive and go forward.

"Nothing which is worth achieving comes easily. When I took up the job, I knew it is one of the greatest challenges in cricket, and to me at this stage of my life.

"Not all days in life are the same and every day brings its own challenge. There is a challenge to get team where it was and where it needs to be, there is bound to be someresistance and some antagonism but it goes with the job."

Chappell understands that the cricket-crazy nation expects him to deliver quickly but believes he is not far away from turning around the corner.

"I understand their expectations. That's why we have been working with haste and are not far away. We have tough engagements against Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan andEngland. Sachin's coming back will make a difference and if players are fit and in form, we will be well on our way."+-

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