In June 2005, Greg Chappell, famous Australian cricketer, joined as the coach of Indian cricket team.
Despite having no previous experience in coaching any national cricket team, he was chosen, as the
BCCI committee was highly impressed by his “Vision 2007”. The “Vision 2007” was a plan to make
Indian cricket team favourites to win world cup 2007. Sourav Ganguly, captain of Indian cricket team
at that time, also wanted Chappell to join as coach of the national team.
When Chappell took charge, India had already become a very strong team under the aggressive
leadership of Ganguly. It had a combination of world-class performers (like Sachin, Dravid) and
emerging talented youngsters (like Yuvraj, Sehwag) in the team. The Indian team had started winning
test matches away from home which boosted their spirits. It was also reaching the finals of major
tournaments, including 2003 world cup. All these wins made Indian team more loyal to their captain,
John Wright, the former New Zealand player, was chosen as the coach of Indian cricket team. He was
first foreign coach of Indian cricket team. His appointment led to huge speculations in the mind of
cricketers and experts, as they feared that it would be difficult for someone from outside to
understand the diversity and culture that exist in the Indian cricket team. Thus, building own
interpersonal relationship with the team members and helping the team members to build
interpersonal relationship among themselves would be a huge and a difficult task. Ganguly and
Wright started rebuilding the team. The aggressive Ganguly presented himself as the face of Indian
cricket while the soft-spoken Wright acted as a pacifier. There was no confusion as to who was the
boss. Ganguly took all the major decisions and always took its accountability irrespective of the
outcomes. The biggest glory of Ganguly’s career as Indian cricket team came in 2003 when India
played Australia in the final of the world cup.
With the team not doing very well from late 2004, Indian fans started demanding for Ganguly to be
dropped from the team. This had put a heavy strain on the relationship between Ganguly and
Wright. By early 2005, Ganguly managed to show Wright the exit door. This made way for Chappell
to become new coach.
Guru Greg’s coaching mantra
Chappell had its own coaching philosophy, which he and his partner Ian Frazer had personally
developed. They developed this philosophy by observing past and present cricketers as well as
players from other sports. Chappell by using management jargons and candid quotes was able to
catch the attention of the Indian media. Chappell through his observation managed to design a
program called ‘The Chappell Way’. This program was sold online by him.
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