Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has gone on to explain the difference between the coaching styles of John Wright and Gregg Chappell- the first two foreign coaches of the Indian men’s cricket team.
Kaif, who was part of the Indian team under both the coaches, feels that Chappell would have made a good batting coach rather than being the head coach. He stated that it was Chappell’s inability to understand the Indian culture that did not work in India’s favour.
Wright was the coach of the Indian team from 2000 to 2005 and during his tenure as the coach of the team, India registered Test wins in England and Australia, managed to win the Natwest Trophy final in 2002 and reached the final of the World Cup in South Africa a year later.
On the other hand, Chappell, who succeeded Wright, had a terrible time as the coach. His fallout with the then captain Sourav Ganguly became one of the biggest controversies in Indian cricket. Later, with Chappell at the helm of the coaching staff, India were knocked out of the first stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007.
“Chappell could have been a good batting coach. But he spoilt his name, as he could not run the team properly, he couldn’t understand the Indian culture and lacked good man-management skills and hence didn’t prove to be a good coach,” Kaif was quoted by The Times of India.
“People respected John Wright because he coordinated well with the players and let Ganguly the captain to lead the team from the front.”
Kaif is not the only player of that time to claim that he doesn’t approve of Chappell’s methods. Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh had recently slammed the former Indian coach and labelled his tenure as the worst days of Indian Cricket. He even called Chappell as “a man with a double face”.
Harbhajan’s comments came after Chappell revealed that he helped a young MS Dhoni by asking him to “play along the ground.”