Greg Chappell, the former Australia cricketer and coach of the Indian cricket team from 2005 to 2007, has stated that Rahul Dravid, the former India captain and current head of NCA, picked up “Australian brains” and replicated their style in India to groom young talents and turn them into match-winners. Notably, Rahul Dravid was India captain in Chappell’s tenure after Sourav Ganguly was sacked and dropped from the team following rifts with the Australian.
The 72-year-old, whose very controversial tenure with Team India came to an end after an early exit from World Cup 2007, added that both India and England have taken away Australia’s bragging rights of calling themselves the best at talent identification.
“India have got their act together and that’s largely because Rahul Dravid has picked our brains, seen what we’re doing and replicated it in India and with their much larger (population) base,” Chappell told cricket.com.au.
Chappell, one of the finest batsmen to have played the game, cautioned that talented Australian cricketers might find their careers at crossroads because of the domestic structure.
“Historically, we’ve been one of the best at developing young players and keeping them in the system, but I think that’s changed in the last couple of years,” he said.
“I’m seeing a bunch of young players with great potential who are in limbo. That’s unacceptable. We cannot afford to lose one player.”
“I think we’ve already lost our position as the best at identifying talent and bringing it though. I think England are doing it better than us now and India are doing it better than us.”
The former Australia captain also talked about India’s iconic 2-1 Test series win after breaching Australia’s Gabba fortress for first time in over 3 decades. Captain Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah got injured and subsequently ruled out at different junctures of the series due to injuries but youngsters including some who were with the team as net bowlers thrashed Australia in their own den. Many of those were coached and mentored by legendary Rahul Dravid.
Chappell reckoned that players who handed Australia their first defeat at Gabba in 32 years were “hardened international cricketers” because of their experience of playing for India A.
“When you look at the Indian team that played in the Brisbane Test that had three or four fresh players, and everyone said, ‘This is India’s second XI’ those guys had played (extensively) for India A,” said Chappell.
“And in all sorts of different conditions, not just in India. So when they get picked, they’re not tyros at all, they’re quite hardened international cricketers.
On the other hand, Australian debutants Will Pucovski and Cameron Green had limited experience playing outside their home country.
“We picked Will Pucovski out of Shield cricket. Will has hardly had a game outside Australia. That’s the difference.”