Chappell wants Sachin to also don mentor~~s role

Published: Sunday, October 9, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mohali:National cricket coach Greg Chappell today said Sachin Tendulkar will have an additional role to play, that of a mentor, when he returns to the Indian team after a long injury lay-off.

"Sachin has an important role to play. I would like to see him more in the mentoring role, that is something you will see him do in the next few years," Chappell said here on theeve of the Challenger Series limited overs tournament for the NKP Salve Trophy.

"He has played at the top level of the game for 16 years, hopefully he can pass on that experience. He gets along well with the youngsters as well."

The former Australian captain said Tendulkar's presence always made a difference to the team and should the team manage to get the best out of him it would be for the betterof Indian cricket and the individual batsman as well.

"He does make a lot of difference to the group. He is worldly respected, a talented individual. Hopefully, from his and Indian Cricket's point of view, this is the start ofanother successful run," the coach said.

"He still has the passion. He has been away, and if he had not had the desire, it would have been difficult. But he is keen, and the team is very happy that he is back.

"It is a matter of managing on a day-to-day basis. We have to be careful of not overdoing it... because it is not just for the next few days but for the next few years."

The series, pitting the India Seniors against the second best in the country divided into 'A' and 'B' teams, marks the first assignment in India for Chappell.

The Challenger series also forms a selection trial for the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Chappell said he was "looking forward to the experience" of coaching the Indian team in a home series.

"We have a fair share of experience. My job is to get the team into proper frame of mind for the Sri Lanka and South Africa series. India have a very good home record," the54-year-old Aussie said.

Chappell, who watched the Irani Cup as well in Delhi, said he was impressed with the "commitment and attitude" of the Railways' team members.

"I was impressed with the organisational capabilities of the Railways and the commitment and the attitude the players showed on the field.

"What was most encouraging to me was their attitude to cricket and each other."

Chappell also said that resting some of the important players from minor events but added that he would not force any player to take a break.

He said the rotational policy could be used to groom the youngsters and make them ready to step in when key positions become vacant.

"That is something that needed to be considered. There are some tournaments where we can rest some players. But I am not in favour of forcing a break.

"If we can use the resource and regenerate ... it is much easier for a few youngsters to come into a team of experienced players than all of them coming in together."

Chappell was of the opinion that the youngsters in the team were yet to reach a stage where they can directly replace the seniors.

"We are not looking at Sachin, hopefully he is there for a few more years. What is important is give the youngsters the responsibilities.

"Players like Yuvraj (Singh) and (Mohammad) Kaif and a couple of youngsters have been there for a while, and that's a positive thing."

On Mohammad Kaif being made the captain of the Seniors' team, Chappell said it "would be another learning experience" for the Uttar Pradeshi. "It is another challenge for him tostretch and learn new things," he said.

Chappell said the modern itinerary was tough on cricketers but the players have to learn to cope with it.

"It is hard to get the balance. There are going to be lot of one-day internationals followed by Test matches. Modern cricketer has to be adaptable.

"The amount of chopping and changing as we go from one format to the other, the players have to be very very adaptable.

"It is not easy to find cricketers with the wherewithal to cope with different conditions which demands difference balance of the team. The players have to be very flexible."

He said he was happy with the teams picked for the Challenger series.

"There are three-four players from the under-19 programme, it is a cross section. We have to reward people coming through the programme. The selectors have done a good job."

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