Arthur calls on Chappell
Greg Chappell (Gallo Images)
Sydney - Former India coach Greg Chappell will share his knowledge of the Indian team with the out-of-sorts Australian squad ahead of the first Boxing Day Test next week, reports said on Saturday.
The former Australia captain has been called in to help the struggling home side prepare for the key winter series against India.
New coach Mickey Arthur has asked Chappell to share his experience of India's batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and his teammates, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Tendulkar has been a perennial thorn in the side of Australia's bowlers, averaging 60.6 with 11 centuries in 31 Tests against them and is eyeing his 100th international hundred during the Australian tour.
Yet Chappell, who coached India for a three-year spell ending in 2007, reveals in his autobiography "Fierce Focus" that Tendulkar went through phases where he was "surprisingly fragile."
The book says Chappell tried to restore Tendulkar's lost confidence after the Little Master became "frustrated with his form and wracked with self-doubt."
Describing Tendulkar as a prisoner of his incredible fame in India, Chappell said he carried expectations greater than Donald Bradman.
"There was a constant frenzy trying to get in at him. The only time he left his room in India was to go to the ground," he said.
"I'd suggest to him to have a day off but he never wanted to.
"Once I said to him, 'You must have so many friends, it must be hard finding time to keep touch with all of them'. He looked me straight in the eye and said 'Greg, you would have more friends in India than I have.'"
Chappell will also share his views on other Indian players including big-hitting opener Virender Sehwag, a player he greatly admired but whose talent he described as a "mixed blessing" to the India.
"He was, simply put, the best striker of the ball I'd ever seen, including Viv Richards," he said.
"But his impact on the team's results was not as good as it should have been. When he got off to a flier, they all thought they could get 350.
"They'd go out and slog like him, collapse and before we knew it we were out for 220.
"When he got out early they'd panic."