Our Test performance dipped under Chappell: Bedi

Published: Sunday, April 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Former cricketer great Bishan Singh Bedi feels Dravid's team is doing a great job in One-day cricket but with the World Cup 2007 being the sole focus, India's Test performance has dipped under coach Greg Chappell.

''Chappell is doing a reasonable job but I think he is solely focused on winning the World Cup and to some extent, I feel, Test cricket is suffering under him,'' he said.

The former captain said since Chappell's alliance with the Indian team was only up to the World Cup, the Australian was very clear about his priorities and winning the World Cup tops his agenda.

Questioning the logic behind sending Team India to West Indies for yet another grueling tour featuring five ODIs and four Tests, Bedi said instead of exhausting themselves, Rahul Dravid's men should have stayed back to recharge their batteries.

''It is a lopsided decision to send the team there at a time when they should be resting at home. I personally feel it's the off-season and they should have taken a break,'' the former captain told.

However, Bedi admitted that the young members of the side might benefit from the tour which would help them acclimatise.

''Now that they are going there, it would help the youngsters get an idea of the conditions there and this will help them in the World Cup,'' he added.

The former captain was also of the view that Caribbeans should not have been given the rights to hold the World Cup because the islands are not capable of managing an event of such large magnitude.

''West Indies is not an ideal place to hold the World Cup because they don't have the required infrastructure. I think there won't be enough crowds for the matches as the grounds are very small,'' he said.

''Travelling, boarding and lodging might also create problems,'' he pointed out.

When asked to rate India's chances at the tournament and whether Rahul Dravid's men were peaking a bit too early, the spin legend said it was too early to say how the team would perform in the World Cup.

''They are doing well but have not really faced any tough challenge so far. They have only been playing at home and have not been tested properly. So the question of peaking early does not arise,'' he said.

The former skipper also reserved his comment on Rahul Dravid's captaincy.

''Rahul is picking up well but these are still early days to assess him as captain. Give him time, he is shaping up fine,'' he said.

He was also of the view that Sachin Tendulkar's return to the side will bolster the team but said one should not expect the little master to perform the same way he did in his pomps.

''He will do his job but he won't be the same master blaster -- that would be asking too much of him. But I strongly believe he will carry on,'' he said.

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