| Greg Chappell has taken the middle path
Calcutta: Team India coach Greg Chappell has taken the middle path, so to say, on the International Cricket Council-sanctioned experimental changes in ODIs.
For the next ten months, each team can replace one player during a match. Fielding restrictions, too, have been amended.
“There’s obviously a need to keep reviewing the game' Indeed, that must be done fairly regularly. As for the changes, I have an open mind' Right now, I’m neither uncomfortable nor comfortable,” Chappell told The Telegraph on Monday.
Speaking from Bangalore, he added: “Everybody probably expects an elaborate reaction, but I would first like to see the impact' Not very many years back, the sport’s governing body made it mandatory for 90 overs on each day of a Test. That, for one, has had an impact'”
Asked whether a coach’s job is now going to become tougher, Chappell laughed: “Again, it’s difficult to say' I’ll be able to respond once I’ve myself experienced the demands on a coach.”
He continued: “With some modifications, I think, such changes have been a feature of domestic cricket back in Australia' They’ve been well received since being introduced some years ago.”
In Chappell’s opinion, the (predictable and boring) middle overs’ scenario is something which definitely needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
“That phase has, for long, been the weakest link' It’s to be seen whether the changes are actually going to lift those middle overs,” he remarked.
Unless Australia and England decide to experiment during the three-match (July 7-12) NatWest Challenge itself, the July 30 India versus Sri Lanka tri-series opener in Dambulla will see ODI history.
Both Chappell and Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody, though, may not mind if John Buchanan and Duncan Fletcher are the ones to face the heat first.
Chappell and Moody, after all, now have to quickly revise their own game plan ahead of their debut as national team coaches.