Chappell inclusion will help Oz work on India's weakness, feels former bowling coach Cooley
It's that time of an India-Australia series build-up. The entrenched Greg Chappell factor is back to the fold. Whether you like it or not, the former Australia captain is bound to be involved during the four-Test series, one way or another. Whether it's a ploy by the hosts to deflate the Indian camp, or truly seeking help to rectify batting woes from the legend, can be left to guesswork.
Former Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley, who plotted Australia's downfall during the 2005 Ashes as England's bowling coach, has welcomed the move to have Chappell address the Aussies before they take on India in the Test series.
"Greg knows all about India's weaknesses and would be helping Australia do everything they can to beat India this summer. He will be able to help out our bowlers. He knows what the strengths and weaknesses are of the Indian batsmen. I think it's a very good request made by the coach, Mickey Arthur. I am not sure if it's only about revealing Sachin Tendulkar's weaknesses, he must be aware of the rest of the pack too. After all, this is a very experienced Indian side with a lot of giants in it," Cooley, who is Cricket Australia Chairman XI's mentor, told reporters on Saturday.
Chappell had also accompanied Australia to India as a batting consultant and mentor in 2008-09. He was once again involved in their think-tank during last year's Ashes summer here. However, it was Australia that got drubbed on both those occasions. They lost five Tests, and won just once.
Mickey Arthur's choice Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported here on Saturday that new Australia coach Arthur asked Chappell, whose three-year stint in charge of India ended in 2007, to share his knowledge of the tourists ahead of the Boxing Day Test on December 26. Chappell has agreed, and will join the hosts during a three-day batting camp that starts at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday.
"Chappell will address the Australian squad for the first Test next week and he is the one man with the knowledge to demystify the champion (Tendulkar) Australia never feel they have got to the bottom of," the report said. "To Australian bowlers, Tendulkar has been the master they have never mastered. His record against Australia in Tests - he averages 60.59 with 11 centuries in 31 Tests - makes him the greatest Aussie basher of his generation," it said.
Chappell's involvement with the Australians could be the talking point as the series rolls on.