Former Australia skipper Greg Chappell has come down hard on the Australian players after their defeat to India in the just-concluded Test series. For the second series in a row, Australia lost to India at home as their wait to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has further extended. The hosts had started the series on a good note by winning the first Test by eight wickets.
But from thereon, nothing much went their way as India won two of the remaining three Tests while drawing the other to clinch the series. What would have hurt Australia even more was that India were without their key players for most part of the series due to a spate of injuries. Skipper Virat Kohli had also returned home after the first Test to attend the birth of his first child.
Unimpressed with Australia’s performance, Greg Chappell has taken a sly dig at them, saying that the young Australian cricketers are still in “primary school” compared to their Indian counterparts. The former India head coach believes it is the robust domestic structure and efforts put in by BCCI which prepares its youngsters to take on the rigours of international cricket.
“Our young cricketers are weekend warriors compared to their Indian compatriots, who get challenging matchplay from the Under-16 age group onwards,” Greg Chappell wrote in a column for ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
“By the time an Indian player reaches the national XI, he has had an all-round apprenticeship that prepares him to walk into the Indian side with a reasonable chance of success. I am afraid, in comparison, Will Pucovski and Cameron Green are still in primary school in terms of experience,” he added.
Greg Chappell further pointed out the big difference in the amount spent by the two boards and opined that Cricket Australia “cannot be making 1960s Holdens in this age of electric cars.”
“The BCCI is investing millions of dollars in budding Indian cricketers. Cricket Australia, by comparison, spends $44m dollars on the Sheffield Shield. The comparative spending gap isn’t a gulf; it is the size of the Indian Ocean,” he wrote.
“If Cricket Australia doesn’t realise what it takes to be competitive in Test cricket and our entire cricket administration does not change its attitude on where to invest in talent, we will be also-rans in no time,” he added.
Greg Chappell also said “the skill level of Indian youth teams would embarrass some of our first-class teams”.
“Their ability to deal with pressure has been cultivated in the cauldron of hard-fought matches. That level of intensity cannot be replicated in nets or against lesser opponents. The fact that India has 38 first-class teams should give you an idea of the depth of talent available,” he wrote.
“What one sees when watching Indian youth and A teams is the surprising degree of maturity and an intuitive understanding of all aspects of the game. It is as rare as it is stark. So much so that one can be forgiven for thinking a team of men is playing a group of schoolboys,” he added.
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