Greg pained at Aussie conservatism

Greg Chappell has accused Australia's top cricketers of being too conservative and defensive as they try to cling on to seven-figure contracts. Chappell fears Australia may never discover another champion like Shane Warne, with players forced towards safe choices to secure their earning power. "I see them getting dulled every day. They're losing their creativity in the bid for security," Chappell writes in his new book, Fierce Focus.

Chappell (left) with Ponting during his reign as an Australia selector

"Australian cricket's success was always built on risk-takers. But the higher up the chain you go now, the more conservative and defensive cricket becomes. b"Conservatism is not going to take us back to the top. In the current full-time professional era, who would take up the risk of bowling the outrageous kind of wrist spin Shane Warne took up, when you can make a good living bowling economical finger spin? "Australian cricket has lived on the back of its champions. That's what we need to find."

Former Australia captain Chappell and outgoing selection chief Andrew Hilditch were heavily criticised for Australia's 1-3 Ashes loss at home last summer but Chappell laid the blame at the feet of experienced leaders like Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.

"Aside from Mike Hussey, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, the senior guys in the team were outplayed by their English counterparts. The selectors can't be blamed if it's the top four choices who don't get the job done," he wrote.

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