Cape Town: Coach Greg Chappell Sunday slammed the “key players” who were letting the team down as India once again went down to South Africa in the third game of the one-day series here.
“The biggest concern at the moment is that key players are not doing well enough. We are not playing well enough and there are too many players out of form,” said a sombre Chappell after India crashed to a 106-run defeat.
Chappell didn’t want to single out any individual, neither Virender Sehwag nor anyone else, but said as a group too many players in the side were not pulling their weight.
“Sehwag is not the only one. We have number of key players who are struggling one way or other. I don’t know if there are any easy answers, I don’t want to single out any individual but there are a number of players down on form.”
The former Australian captain admitted that the failure of the team doesn’t make the task any easier for him or for the captain Rahul Dravid.
“It doesn’t make it any easy for me. The job is tough at the best of times and you can only keep doing as best as you can,” he said.
“Such failures also bring a lot of pressure on the captain. It comes with the role though. He is a key player, one who is expected to do well but he needs support. He needs consistent effort from everyone in the team.”
Chappell conceded that there were no easy answers for India’s plight and the solution got to come from individuals themselves.
“I don’t know what the answer is. It’s to come from the players. Teams with better batting credentials have struggled in these conditions, the ball bouncing between waist and chest doesn’t happen regularly in India but we are not coping as well as we should.”
The Indian coach felt that there was positive for the team only till they had South Africa on the ropes at 76 for six. “It was positive for us at 76 for 6, but not much thereafter. We had a couple of opportunities which we let go and which was the turning point of the match.
“If we had caught those catches, it would have made a big difference. As against it, they caught everything. It’s not only our fielding though, we were outplayed in all departments.”
Chappell admitted that he was at a loss to suggest a solution. “I am not sure what’s the right solution and how things can be turned around. The players have to dig deep (inside themselves).
“The way we can do is by having a big mental and physical effort. It can’t be otherwise. We got into position to win games but can’t finish it off. There are critical areas we are falling behind.”
“We are struggling but we need to try different options. If we keep doing the same things the results would be the same.”