Calcutta: Greg Chappell was more of a “listener” during his first interaction with the (senior) national selectors, in Bangalore, on Tuesday.
The new Team India coach met Kiran More and his colleagues ' Yashpal Sharma, Pranab Roy, Gopal Sharma and V.B. Chandrasekhar ' for around 45 minutes before the selection of the probables for the 2005-06 season.
The 36 probables will attend three camps, in Bangalore, with the final (cricket-specific) one being the cynosure. That camp begins on July 13.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, Chappell sought the selectors’ “assessment” on India’s rather indifferent show last season.
To talk of Tests, India lost 1-2 to Australia, beat South Africa (1-0) and Bangladesh (2-0) before ending with a 1-1 scoreline versus Pakistan.
In ODIs, the performance was distinctly bad: Thirteen defeats as against nine wins.
The selectors are understood to have listed quite a few reasons ' including injuries throughout 2004-05 to both batsmen and bowlers, poor fielding and an attitude which wasn’t positive.
Apparently, just about everybody acknowledged the “fierce desire” to win wasn’t there. Quite an indictment, that.
Expectedly, Chappell observed that “attitude” was as (if not more) important than the level of skills.
That Chappell chose to be more of a listener doesn’t surprise. His strong views on a range of issues notwithstanding, he’s also aware he can’t change any system overnight.
In any case, Chappell has candidly been saying he himself doesn’t have an answer ' “I don’t know enough” ' for Team India’s performance last season.
Meanwhile, the squad for the season-launching tri-series in Sri Lanka is to be picked in Bangalore itself on July 18.
Chappell, however, has requested More to be there three-four days before the selection. The chief selector has agreed.
Clearly, Chappell wants to build on a ‘partnership’ which began with a brief interaction on Monday, not many hours before his meeting with all the selectors.
Chappell has served on Australia’s selection panel.