The step-down controversy - Greg Chappell did his job

As the coach, Greg C is responsible for bringing the best out of the team that is given to him. And the best way to achieve the desired results is by always playing your best XI in the side. Any sane follower of the Indian cricket team would tell you that Ganguly on current form is not amongst the top 6 batsmen in the available fifteen. I dont think it was wrong on Greg's part to go have a one-on-one with the skipper and let him know that he doesn't deserve to be playing the game at the expense of dropping someone like Kaif. No one would ever know the exact words of the conversation in that one-on-one, but it would be safe to assume that Greg would not have spared any words to speak his mind.

Was the timing right? There is never really a good time. Is there? It wasn't exactly the eve of a world cup final. He gave Saurav an option, Saurav didn't take it and he is bound to bring it up in the review meeting after the series. If not anything, he has managed to make Saurav more determined to come good with the bat. Before throwing verbal assualts on him, it has to be remembered that it wasn't him who went on TV and told the whole wide world about it.

Related posts:
(a) Playing for self
(b) Quotes

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Blogger worma 4:51 AM

"And the best way to achieve the desired results is by always playing your best XI in the side. .." - Is selecting the final playing XI that simple? Just pick the best in-form XI ? there's nothing called 'persisting with the proven performers' ? Why did Hayden play all the tests, while Hussey watched from the drama from the dressing room?

Or why was Gillespie getting so many chances?

I can give you ten thousand examples that playing final XI is not simply picking the in-form get the point :)    

Blogger vishnupavan 5:13 AM

Well, infact it is that simple.. the best results are achieved by playing your best team.. A player needs to be persisted with if the team-management believes that the concerned player when in form is better than any one on the bench and playing him (accrying the extra baggage) would not hamper the performance of the team. Hayden was persisted with because the team had enough confidence in him coming good.. They believed that he was just one knock away.. In Ganguly's case, the coach doesn't seem to have much confidence in him.. (Ganguly seems to be more than one knock away - that ton wouldn't have inspired the Coach by any distance) and that is very sad.    

Blogger worma 11:12 AM

" They believed that he was just one knock away.." - It took him more than 30 test innings to reach that 'one knock' they were waiting for.

And btw, this 'they' CANNOT be team management alone (Waugh made CA change their rules so that Buchanan does not have a say in team selection!!) even if coach is involved, he cannot be the only voice.

Now if he didn't want SG to play (I assume) then he should ahve said this in the selectors meeting, where he was present. If he got over-ruled...then so be it. Its not his call alone.

The coach and team management can decide the final playing XI, but not the coach alone. And definitely nowhere in the world, not even in Aus, the coach has the authority to change the captain(without captain's agreement) leave alone dropping him from the team.    

Blogger vishnupavan 7:58 PM

You missed the point.. what I meant by "one knock away from getting into form" is actually "one big score away from getting back into form".. and the Australian side was willing to wait till Hayden got that big knock (final test) because they were sure that he would be back to his usual self after that knock.. In some cases, getting a big score doesnt really guarantee getting back into form.. Ganguly scored a ton in the last game.. but he still doesnt ooze any confidence, does he?

Anyway, I agree that a coach does not have the sole authority to replace the captain in the middle of a tour.. But there are enough reports out there from various sources to suggest that Greg C was just letting the skipper know about his honest opinion (and he is entitled to do that.. isn't he?).. It wasn't exactly an order, was it?    

Blogger worma 1:19 AM

Yes, even I don't think GC was ordering him, just suggesting the he leave captaincy aside(to lessen the pressure). Even SG's media comment is that there were 'suggestions' to step down. But then, you brought out the issue that the coach does not have confidence in his batting(I am not sure GC was implying about his batting place in the team).

But if GC was saying he does not deserve a place in the team, then he was implicitly questioning the selectors(who, when choosing SG as captain, automatically made it certain that he would play all the games, unless he himself does feel it necessary). But anyways, I dont feel GC meant it, and I dont think SG then has committed a big sin by disclosing, in an interview, that there was pressure on his captaincy. Yes, its an indiscretion, but nothing more.

And that leaves us to his batting question. Well in case of Hayden they were waiting for his big knock which he delivered after...umm..30 or so test innings. Ganguly, discounting the current ton, hasn't delivered it yet.

So what, you say? Well, wait for more time, is what I say. Hayden's out of form run was longer than Ganguly (in tests). Wait for Ganguly to fail against a better opposition! Don't assume that since he had an average knock against Zim means he cannot have a better knock against SL (with whom we play our next test series)

Hayden also had poor knocks against worse opposition before getting a big one against the best bowling attack.

And btw, Ganguly during this tour, has looked troubled only when facing Bond(otherwise he has looked more comfortable than even Laxman, in this ton). Does that really cause a worry, that he is troubled by a fired up Bond? Hayden, in this celebrated big score, this recent ton, was troubled like hell for the entire first day(when he scored some 30 odd runs in 90+ balls). Even till the dying moments of his innings he was truobled by all the good bowlers...he just kept on scratching and persevering. And I see the signs of that in Ganguly also (even against Bond).    

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