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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Report

Don't blame Dravid and Chappell: More

Harish Kotian | March 28, 2007 02:41 IST

Former chairman of selectors Kiran More on Wednesday voiced his support for Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell, saying they should continue as captain and coach of the Indian team.

"I will be very disappointed [if their contracts are not renewed]. I know Rahul and Greg, and both of them worked very hard for the team. They had a vision for the team and for winning matches. The biggest failure in the World Cup was our batting, so you can't blame the coach and the captain for it. It's a total collective failure," More told

Rattled by the India's shocking exit from the World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has convened a meeting of the Working Committee in Mumbai, on April 6 and 7, where the fate of under fire coach Chappell would come up for discussion. There are already rumours that the Board has started looking for a new coach and is also keen on replacing Dravid as captain.

"I will be very disappointed if Rahul is not continued with as captain. If you are talking about the future of the Indian team, Rahul is the best person. And Chappell should also continue, because you can't work miracles in 18 months. If any coach comes and tells me or any other country that I can make a champion team in 18 months, I will not agree at all. He will probably be lying or hiding something from you," added More.

The former India wicketkeeper said if the Board is looking to appoint an Indian coach, then it must be someone who is coaching in domestic cricket.

"You just can't have a former Test cricketer as coach just because he has played cricket. Just because he is a former cricketer you cannot make him the coach. Coaching is a different ball game altogether. So anyone who is a current coach of any state team, or in charge of the NCA or a part of it, could be considered. My feeling is that anybody who wants to coach the Indian team must have good credibility in domestic cricket and must have coached domestic teams.

"I can give you examples... like Chandrakant Pandit, Paras Mhambrey, Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad. There are a lot of coaches in domestic cricket, and if they are doing well, then opportunities must be created for them for India 'A' tours," he said.

Reports are doing the rounds that Chappell was not happy with the composition of the Indian squad for the World Cup; More feels it could be due to the inclusion of seniors after the South Africa tour.

"We had discussed that before also, when I was the chairman of the selection committee. He always used to say that we need to look forward, groom more youngsters not only for this World Cup but for future matches. He said we need to nurture some cricketers, and that is how we got so many youngsters to play for India.

"We tried around 20-25 cricketers because we wanted to find out who the best cricketers are. We wanted to create more opportunities for these youngsters so that before the World Cup they would get enough opportunities to play at the top level. S Sreesanth, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, MS Dhoni and Robin Uthappa were given opportunities and that is how we discovered these players. Otherwise, we would have struggled to find more players," said More.

He believes the coach must be give more time to prove himself and not just a year or two, or 18 months, as in the case of Chappell.

"When John Wright was the coach he had one of the best teams in the world that time. All the players were young and in good form then. All the players -- like VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh -- they were all on top of their game," he said.

He also feels it is important that the selection committee has a good understanding with the coach and captain, like it was during his tenure.

"There must a good relationship with the captain and players. You must understand the psychology of the players. If someone is not in the best of form he must be spoken to and made to understand that he could be dropped at times. The expectation is always high so you have to understand that if somebody is not doing well and is dropped you must try and bring him back also.

"You must create opportunities for him in the future. There must be a good working relation between the selectors, captain, coach and players, which, I think, is very vital," he said.

India suffered a humiliating first round exit from the World Cup after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The team won just one match -- against minnows Bermuda -- in the preliminary rounds, prompting widespread protests from cricket fans and former cricketers, all calling for wholesale changes in the team.

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