~~Guru Greg is more hype than substance~~

Published: Monday, October 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Edward de Bono's thinking caps, paramilitary-style training, rolling camps - Greg Chappell's idea of coaching never lacked innovations but India's un-ceremonial ouster from ICC Champions Trophy proves it's more hype than substance, according to a section of the former players.

Irked by Chappell's continuous tinkering of the batting order and frequent shuffles in the side, former Test player Maninder Singh felt Chappell has been adamant, while captain Rahul Dravid has failed to assert himself.

Talking to UNI, Maninder said, ''I absolutely disagree with Chappell's experiments. Why is he being so adamant?'' Make no mistake, Chappell was a great player but I'm sorry to say he is not a great thinker of the game.

''His experiments are simply not working. (Ramesh) Powar did well in the last game but he was dropped for the crucial West Indies tie.

Agarkar bowled well as a strike bowler in West Indies but we bowled him as first change,'' he explained.

Maninder also found no logic behind ignoring Dinesh Mongia and S Sreesanth in the initial matches despite the duo doing well.

Sreesanth, however, was pencilled in yesterday - only after Agarkar was ruled out with an injury.

The former left-arm spinner also wondered at the failed ploy of sending Irfan Pathan bat at number three positions.

''It defies common sense to send Pathan at number three, when you have, in Dravid, the best person to bat there."

''We had enough of his experiments. Chappell cannot take India for a ride anymore,'' an agitated Maninder said.

Former player Madan Lal, who also had a stint as Team India coach, is also fed up with Chappell's experimentation.

''Some players respond to the experiments and it works but it should not be pursued with if they are not working. But Chappell is doing just that."

''A number seven is sent to bat at the specialist number three position. How can you expect it to click all the time?'' he asked.

Also a part of Kapil's Devils that won the 1983 World Cup, Madan Lal feels Chappell is more hype than substance and he too felt Dravid is not assertive enough.

''Dravid should be more vocal and assertive. After all it is he who has to take the final responsibility,'' he said.


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