Former captains Ian Chappell and Michael Clarke have hit out at the lack of accountability amongst those around the Australian cricket team, following the 2-1 series loss to India.
With Australia failing to bowl India out on the final day for the second consecutive Test match, skipper Tim Paine’s tactics have been under the microscope; in particular the post-lunch spell in Brisbane yesterday, where Australia’s fast-bowlers persisted with a short-pitched attack on the Indian batsmen.
Speaking on Sky Sports Radio this morning, Clarke lamented the shift during his time in charge, noting the increased power given to the chairman of selectors, high performance boss and head coach, all at the expense of the captain.
Chappell, who captained Australia in 30 of his 75 Test matches, said the current system simply doesn’t work.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Michael Clarke has recognised that, and I bet if you rang Mark Taylor he’d say the same thing,” he told Wide World of Sports.
“Mark certainly had a lot more control than Michael did, and I had a lot more control than both of them, and thank heavens for that.
“Tim’s going to cop all the blame for yesterday, and blokes like (Justin) Langer and (Andrew) McDonald will get off scot-free.”
Chappell noted that during his time in charge the side only had a team manager, rather than the plethora of coaches and assistants around the current team.
“If the board knows anything about cricket they’ll look at what happened yesterday and say to themselves that the system needs changing,” he said.
“They may not go back to how it was when I was captain, but at least go back to what Mark Taylor had.
“I had it easy, I only had one bloke to tell to piss off.”
Chappell was particularly scathing of the post-lunch tactics on day five.
“I reckon yesterday was a total balls-up, and I think that was because too many people were putting their bit in,” he explained.
“I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t in the dressing room, but when you’ve played and commentated for as long as I have, you see things that make you think that’s what happened.
“The absolute rubbish just after lunch, when both bowlers banged the ball in short, I just can’t believe that only one guy thought that up, and I can’t believe that Tim Paine went to the bowlers and told them to do it, and the bowlers just agreed to it.
“If that’s what happened, they got the result they deserved.”
Chappell went on to explain that the on-field tactics should be the sole domain of the players.
“It’s no secret that I think the captain should run the team and I wouldn’t bother with the coach, but obviously the modern teams do. But here’s a good lesson for any captain coming along in future – run the show yourself.
“It’s why the captain should run the show and I’d say to any coach who wants to stick their nose into things, when the wins and losses go against your name, then I’ll take a bit of notice of what you say.
“In the meantime, if you don’t mind, I’ll run the show and I’ll do it with the help of people on the field whose judgment I respect.
“Yesterday was a classic case of too many people putting their nose in where they shouldn’t.”
With India coming from 1-0 down to win the series, Chappell pointed out that Australia had problems during the series with both bat and ball.
“Well, if you don’t think about it or you just make a quick judgement, you’d say the batting was at fault,” he said.
“The first two Tests, it was the batting, but you’d have to say the bowling in the last two matches, especially the last day of those Tests, was not what you would expect.”
Chappell said if the current coaching set-up is maintained, results like this summer’s loss to India will continue.
“The system has to be revamped and revamped drastically, because it doesn’t bloody work,” he said.
“It will work against lesser opposition, because any system will work there. The players that the Australian system produces will beat the lesser lights every day of the week. But you’re not there to beat the lesser lights, you’re there to beat the best.
“That system will fail you fairly regularly against the better teams.”
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