Critics Corner.

Opinions. And LOTS of them.

Letter to Greg.

Posted by Sports Snob on September 22, 2006


Dear Greg,

I think you have done a great job so far. You have put together a young team with a lot of potential. You have got through a series of controversies and I think you have finally learnt that being outspoken and blunt is not the best thing to do in India. You have also learnt to shut up when it comes to the Ganguly issue. Sure, test series wins against England and Pakistan would have made things sweeter but nevertheless the team has made a lot of progress under you. But the time has come for some hard decisions and as things stand the Indian team going to the World Cup has a much better of winning then any Indian team that has taken part in previous editions.

1) Sort out the mental blocks in Sehwag and Pathan.

Two of our best match winners have been performing poorly for quite some time now. Nobody is doubting their abilities but they will have to turn it around. And fast. Sehwag has not been firing on any cylinder and a variety of reasons have made Pathan from a dependable swing bowler into a sunday-leaguer. True, Pathan’s batting has blossomed but he is in the team as a strike bowler first. We need Pathan the bowler a lot more than Pathan the batsman. And the drop in pace has been rather alarming. Maybe we will need a bowling coach (like Bruce Reid or Trevor Cooley) after the World Cup but as of now its up to you and Rahul.

2) Sort the batting order.

Lets face it, you have been lucky. The emergence of Dhoni has saved you a lot of trouble of fielding Dravid as the wicket keeper. As things stand, Dhoni would walk into any lineup in the world right now (barring Australia ofcourse). You have experimented quite a bit (more than probably necessary) but now its time to stop. People need a good run at fixed positions to the world cup. Is Dravid going to open? Are you going to go in with 5 batsmen with Pathan and Dhoni or a sixth batsman and four bowlers?. Start with the champions trophy

3) Draft Kumble back. NOW.

In fact I wrote about this quite extensively. Two spinners in the Carribean might seem a totally insane thing to do but just look at how part time spinners like Gayle and Samuels were effective earlier this year. if you are really interested- you could go here.

4) Develop the siege mentality-

The siege mentality could make a good side into a champion side. Look at Italy at the 2006 football world cup. With the Italian Corruption scandal making more headlines than the squad, the team stuck together, avoided the media, played their hearts out and emerged on top.

Besides, it has worked with the Indian team before. During the 2003 World Cup, the manner in which the Indian team rebounded after a thrashing at the hands of Australia and the subsequent criticism was in part due to the US Vs Them mentality. Even average blokes like Asish Nehra stepped up and fought hard (remember that 6 for 23 against England?) . This could just work. Hopefully, this will result in you guys coming home with the trophy.



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16 Responses to “Letter to Greg.”

  1. Prof said

    The manner in which they bounced back in 2003 was brilliant. There were public apologies for the bad performance, removed theselves from the media and Sachin started kicking some ass. Nehra… man, what a performance and what pace!!! I don’t think he was ever the same bowler again.

  2. Kesavan said

    Agree with all the points. Dravid shouldn’t open and Kumble should be back. And given the way our middle order is performing, won’t be a bad idea to have someone like a Laxman to anchor the innings. And seems like Mongia was an inspired selection, but only time will tell whether his innings won us the match or went in vain.

    The 5 bowlers + Dhoni + 5 batsmen will work once Pathan sorts out his bowling. God only knows what the hell happened to him. Probably its a case of too much advice from too many people, Andy Roberts in the Windies, Jeff Thomson in Malaysia, and god only knows how many others. One bowling coach should do the trick.

  3. Z said

    That guy did the perfect disappearing act! Sachin kicked a lot of butt- Akthar, Caddick…
    I think we need Laxman or atleast another batsman..not too convinced with the current middle order. Yuvraj and Kaif for all their talent are not consistent enough. Especially the latter..
    and agree with you about Pathan… and we definitely need a good bowling coach…why not Reid..he did a great job with these guys when we went to Australia.

  4. The Enigma said

    Hi Z,
    I’m not convinced that Kumble would add that much to the one day team. Although he has improved his fielding, he would still be a liability we cannot carry in the current ODI environment. I still think Powar is a better bet as the second spinner in the Windies for the World Cup.

    I think the problem with Pathan is his head. He needs some time away from the pressure of international cricket to sort himself out, for mine. As I’ve suggested on my blog, he needs to remember why he used to love the game so much.

    Keep up the good work guys.

  5. Beau Peep said

    Greg Chappell has fucked up the Indian Team. The only remedy lies in what I suggested.

    India will fail again and again and it won’t surprise anyone.

  6. Z said

    Enigma- somehow if India puts up a score of say 240 and the opposition are 70 for 1 in 12 overs, I rather have Kumble coming in than Powar. Plus, if the Indians are on top- Kumble will make sure the pressure stays from one end. I think he should be on that flight to the Carribean….to give the team some options…

    @ BeauPeep- I am a huge fan of Greg! But I agree- the experimentation should stop.

  7. Ravi said

    i rather kumble continues to concentrate on tests. it has done wonders for warne. india will miss kumble more in tests than odis in case of a burnout related injury. if he wants to persist with odis, then i think the WC should be his swansong, with tests the way ahead after that.

  8. The Enigma said


    No doubt Kumble is a better bowler than Powar and may even be quite valuable on Windies decks. But, for the team’s balance, Powar represents a better all round package.

    You’re right he probably should be on the flight to the Carribean. I’m not sure that he should play ahead of Powar, just yet.

    I’m sure we’ll agree to disagree on this topic though. Keep up the good work.

  9. A reply to a SOS

    Having come across Beau Peep’s call for a SOS to save the Indian cricket team, I was compelled to respond in one way or the other. Largely because I disagreed with it.
    I will leave the positives aside. After all they will only benefit the team an …..

  10. Z said

    @Ravi and The Enigma-
    Kumble should be there at the WC. Its bloody madness if he doesnt go. And as of now it looks like it. And yes ..he should play in test matches for atleast a couple of more years.

  11. oasisboy said

    Kumble should play until HE decides to stop. The man is a machine, comparable only to Glen McGrath when it comes to consistency in terms of line and length. Why isn’t he playing????
    Greg Chappel did get lucky with the emergence of Dhoni, have to agree. We’re a heck of a threat with him in the line-up. Sehwag? Needs to get his head together…

  12. ©hinaman said

    PS. I hope the finger has healed and does not stick out inappropriately anymore.

    It would be a shame if people of lesser intellegence mistook it for an abusive gesture, wouldn’t it?

  13. […] India’s prayer for a partner for Sehwag seemed to have been answered in the form of Jaffer. The Dravid-Chappell combination’s success was at its peak at this point and Indians looked like they could do not […]

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  15. […] Snob pens a letter to Greg  Chappell offering four-point advice on whipping the Indian cricket team into shape [hat tip: […]

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