Chappell a wrong choice, says Maninder Singh

Published: Monday, July 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Rahul Dravid's men may have broken a 35-year-old jinx by winning the Test series against the West Indies but Maninder Singh is not impressed with Greg Chappell and the left-arm spinner feels the ''fickle-minded'' Australian was a wrong choice for the Team India coach's job.

In an interview for BBC Hindi, Maninder, however, distanced himself from the likes of Mohinder Amarnath, who felt an Indian should have been picked to coach the side.

''On the contrary, I feel the Indian team does need a foreign coach as he is above the local politics....and in a better position to break the trend of undue interference in team matters,'' he said.

''However, having supported the concept of a foreign coach, let me make it clear that Greg Chappell was not the correct choice. His attitude is not in the interests of the team,'' Maninder added.

He accused Chappell of being inconsistent and felt India let a weak West Indies off the hook in both the ODI and Test series.

''India should have won the Test series against West Indies 3-0.

We were playing against one of the weakest West Indian sides ever,'' said Maninder.

''India had the right balance to beat them in the One-dayers as well as Test matches, but we lost the One-day series and managed to win only a single Test, which shows we were lacking,'' he said, even though India beating West Indies 1-0 for their first Test series win in the Caribbean since 1971.

Maninder also felt that the 1-4 defeat on the ODI series was a setback to India's hopes of lifting the World Cup next year in the Caribbean and felt the side's preparations were ''not on the right track''.

''A clear case of Greg Chappell's inconsistency is how he handled Irfan Pathan's batting position. Greg made Irfan bat at number three for so many One-dayers (earlier this year), and suddenly after a single failure in the first One-day match in West Indies, Irfan was suddenly demoted to number eight in the batting order. Can anyone justify this?'' ''Around eight months are left before the mega event and our preparation is merely 40 per cent of what it should be at this time,'' he said.

''Captain, coach and the selectors should have identified the team composition by now, but I think they are placing trust in the wrong players and are ignoring fresh talent,' he added.

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