The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘The commitment to excellence remains’
- I don’t anticipate a problem between Sourav and Dravid, says Team India coach Greg Chappell

Calcutta: Post-Sri Lanka, most Team India cricketers have been busy with commercial shoots, the opening of a food court or promotional appearances... The odd workout as well...

Coach Greg Chappell’s schedule, though, has been different: Regular visits to the National Cricket Academy and many hours of interaction with trainer Greg King and hand-picked sports scientist Ian Frazer.

“I don’t live in the past and, so, haven’t reflected much over what happened in the tri-series... I’ve been working with the support staff and looking ahead,” he told The Telegraph on Friday afternoon.

India finished runners-up in the season-launching tournament in Sri Lanka and, within a few days, head for Zimbabwe. The tour starts with a tri-series (New Zealand being the third team) and will be followed by two Tests.

Speaking from Bangalore, Chappell added: “The commitment to excellence remains... That stays the driving force, yet I appreciate there’s a process for achieving excellence and it won’t happen overnight... I’m comfortable as long as we learn from mistakes.”

Asked just how long it took to ‘recover’ from Sri Lanka, he replied: “We didn’t get the desired result, but we got it right on the days we adhered to the ‘process’... We stumbled on the days we didn’t...

“One way or the other, I’ve been involved with cricket for far too long to be affected by one loss or win. In any case, from my perspective, there were some things to be satisfied with.”

India beat a depleted West Indies both times, but lost to the hosts on all three occasions. Basically, we faltered against a quality opposition.

Surely, like the West Indies, Zimbabwe won’t provide the stiffest challenge'

“That can’t be our concern... We’ve got to play to potential without looking to how good Zimbabwe can be... It’s important for us to put together the right things,” Chappell responded.

Chappell, by the way, pointed out his man-management skills wouldn’t be put to test only because Sourav Ganguly has got back the captaincy and Rahul Dravid is back to being the vice-captain.

“Whoever the coach, man-management skills are put to test on a daily basis... However, I don’t expect my job to either be any easier or tougher than in Sri Lanka... Of course, I don’t anticipate a problem between Sourav and Dravid,” he emphasised.

Chappell intends talking to both “separately,” but clarified he would be having one-on-ones with “every” other player as well.

Predictably, he declined to speak about reservations over the “attitude” of some players in Sri Lanka. “I’ve given a report to the Board... I can’t divulge details and I’m going to be most unhappy if somebody in the Board does that...”

Chappell hasn’t talked to Sachin Tendulkar since he began light practice, but informed he was “happy” with the feedback from Team India physio John Gloster.

“Bottomline is that Sachin must be fit whenever he makes a comeback... We expect him for the two Tests (in Zimbabwe), but Sachin is smart enough to himself say ‘no’ if hundred per cent fitness isn’t achieved,” he said.

Chappell confirmed Frazer will be on the support staff in Zimbabwe too.

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