Australia legend Greg Chappell said that the survival of Test cricket greatly depends on India’s outlook and should they give it up, it will cease to exist. Also Read - Greg Spoilt His Name, Could've Been a Good Batting Coach: Mohammad Kaif
However, current India captain Virat Kohli has time and again reiterated Test cricket as the ultimate format which for Chappell is an encouraging sign. Also Read - Ben Stokes Questions India's Intent During World Cup 2019 Game vs England at Edgbaston, Says There Was No Intent From MS Dhoni And Kedar Jadhav
“Test cricket will die the day India gives it up,” Chappell said during a chat session with Playwrite Foundation on Tuesday. “I cannot see countries other than India, Australia and England investing in young cricketers to take up Test cricket.” Also Read - Australia Pacer Mitchell Starc Looking Forward to Pink Ball Test Against India
He continued, I have nothing against T20 cricket. It is easier to sell to the public. For Tests, the monetary issue is going to be massive. But at the same time, Indian captain Virat Kohli calls Test cricket the ultimate format, so there is hope that it will survive.”
Chappell is also remembered for his controversial rein as India head coach. His differences with the then captain Sourav Ganguly constantly made the headlines which to some extent overshadowed the success he tasted with them.
However, the 71-year-old says he has no qualms regarding his association with Indian cricket even if it was a tumultuous one and in fact, looks fondly at the period.
“It’s still a period that me and my wife look back with great fondness,” he said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me as a coach. I thoroughly enjoyed coaching more than I thought I would. There’s nothing that can replace playing the game but coaching came closer. I was approached by West Indies, Sri Lanka. I though that If I wanted to coach any other team other than Australia, it was going to be India. So I declined West Indies and Sri Lanka and fortunately that opportunity came.”
Chappell said he was brought in to introduce Australian techniques with regards to training methods among others.
“One of the greatest challenge for me was to refresh the team while it had some of the greatest players of the era and hopefully establish the next champions of Indian cricket. There’s a process to achieve success. You don’t achieve it by accident. To be fair, that team was one of the greatest but it hadn’t achieved what it should have. They relied largely on natural ability. If you do that, there’s going to be lots of ups and downs,” he said.
“Their record in ODIs wasn’t anywhere good as it should have been for as quality team. We tried to bring some changes – some of it worked well, others players found it a bit challenging leading to differences of opinion. I still look it back on as a happy time. In India you get the best and worst of everything,” he added.