Bangalore, Jan 25: When you think of Trevor Chappell, you only remember about that infamous underarm delivery of his which he bowled way back in 1981. With his elder brother Greg instructing him to do so in a bid to win the match against New Zealand, Trevor had no option than to obey his captain's orders. Trevor, who is now coaching Singapore team, is in Bangalore with his team for a few practice matches and when ThatsCricket caught up with him at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium the Australian felt if he was in a similar situation today he would talk his captain out of it and bowl an overarm bowl.
The 59-year-old spoke on various issues of the game including India's performance in Australia, DRS (Decision Review System), cricket in Singapore among others.
Here are the excerpts from an interview.
Q: What do you make of India's performance in Australia?
Trevor: It has been a bit disappointing. I think, probably in both countries, in India and Australia, they were expecting a series similar to the previous one in Australia (2008). It was a great series when India played extremely well. Even the Australian public was expecting a good and exciting series. It has been disappointing but Australia won"t be disappointed as Indian public. I haven"t watched much of it. So it is hard to say what has gone wrong but obviously the batting has been disappointing.
Q: What do you attribute it to, is it lack of preparation or age factor as people are pointing to?
Trevor: Age factor must be something to do with it. The Australian bowling has improved considerably, say in the last six months or so. In South Africa, they struggled. Pat Cummins did quite well when he came in but he"s been injured. James Pattinson has come on the scene and done well. (Ben) Hilfenhaus has come back and bowled well. So, suddenly Australia has gone from not a strong attack to good attack. Whether you can say that because Indians have not batted very well. It is hard to say by not having seen much of their cricket. It is hard to say what the case whether it is good bowling or bad batting or a combination. But it is going to be hard for guys over 35 and particularly in Australia there is a bit more pace and bounce in the wicket and they can find you out. That is the case.
Q: Australia are known to have good succession plans with backup players ready. Do you think India is lagging in that aspect?
Trevor: You can say that. But, if you look back at that 2008 series, the guys had got pile of runs. They are now saying maybe they should not have gone. But seeing what has happened before you couldn"t say don"t take (VVS) Laxman, don"t take (Rahul) Dravid. You have to take them. They are still good players. They are right at the end of their careers now. Three or four years ago they were a bit younger and their reflexes were a bit better. It was a different story. It is hard to say. Getting back to succession play, you got to be looking not just what is happening today but two or three seasons ahead. Australia took the decision to drop Simon Katich at the start of this season which wasn"t a popular decision. But probably now everybody has forgotten about that because the way things have turned out. He was unlucky for sure because he was in good form and getting runs. But his age was main factor. The fact that (Ricky) Ponting with over 35 and Hussey around about same age, they didn"t want to get caught with three guys in top six with over 35. So they brought in few younger guys. (Ed) Cowan, (David) Warner and (Shaun) Marsh have come in. Now there are guys around late 20s or early 30s I don"t know. Plus Ponting has set the critics back a bit. Everybody was calling for his axing. That is a typical response of a very good player, that I will show that I am not at the end of my career and I have got bit more time left. His response has been fantastic. The sort of response you expect from a player of that calibre. (Michael) Clarke has also been in terrific form also this series. Those two guys batting and few young guys bowling and even Warner and Cowan have contributed as well. Hussey, who was also under pressure, has got some runs as well. For Australia, it has worked and for India it has not.
Q: There has also been criticism of coach Duncan Fletcher for India's failure. What role does the coach have with international sides?
Trevor: Coaches will always come in for some criticism regardless of what he does or what happens really. I guess it is fair as he is in that position of overseeing what is going on in the team. But I don"t see the coach at that level as being so much involved in the technique. It is about preparation of the players, working everybody"s role in the team, tactics that the team wants in conjunction with the captain and seniors. That is the coach"s role to work out that and make sure everybody is doing that amount of work they need to be doing. To say that he has not noticed a technical flaw with the player, at that level and the three guys you are talking about (Sachin, Dravid, Laxman) their experience is probably greater than the coach"s. They are going to cope a bit of criticism whether is it justified I don't know. Probably coach is the first guy to get the sack.