Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Shit Midas!

Historic Test win in West Indies, record number of successful chases in ODIs…still Greg Chappell is not my man with the Midas Touch.

To be honest, I didn’t like him and it’s not so much about cricket, as much as culture. A cultural clash to be precise. And in such clashes, no one is right or wrong. It’s just a matter of liking and disliking. From that point of view, I dislike Greg but that doesn’t mean I’m right and he’s wrong.

Now that he’s no more the Team India coach, I embark on an obit of his first international coaching career.

I think Greg is cursed. An exceptional batsman with a ton in both his debut and swansong Tests, centuries in each innings of his debut as captain and an average of 53.86. The tragedy, however, is that the lone lingering memory of his playing days was when he came forward to advice his younger brother Trevor to bowl under-arm in the third final of the 1981 World Series Cup.

I was watching the tapes again. New Zealand needed six off the last ball to tie, and not win, the match and Greg appeared to order his brother Trevor not just to tell him bowl an under-arm delivery, but also demonstrated it how to do. Rod Marsh was shamed to death behind the stumps and screamed “No! No!”. What followed was one of the darkest chapters in the game’s history.

Even when Greg took over as Team India coach, he brought the same jinx. It was jackpot for someone who had no prior experience of coaching any international side when Greg was selected as Team India coach and it’s well-documented that Sourav Ganguly’s backing made all the difference, even though key panelist Sunil Gavaskar voted against the Australian.

Soon after the honeymoon period was over, what followed was the Greg vs Ganguly saga, which I think is another cultural clash. Gratitude is considered a virtue in Indian society, while the Aussies perceive it as a hindrance to professionalism. A way could have been found to deal the issue but that needed both parties to concede some grounds. And Greg’s media manipulation – so many instances to cite – made things worse.

He would leak things to his selective friends in the media and resorted to all sort of practices unbecoming of a coach.

While the Greg vs Ganguly broadside – it was one-way traffic with Ganguly maintaining deafening silence against Greg’s verbal diarrhea -- dominated the headlines, side-by-side went Greg vs Harbhajan, Greg vs Zaheer, Greg vs Yuvraj, Greg vs Sehwag, Greg vs Tendulkar, almost an unending list.

Even his holiday at Alappuzha landed the houseboat owner in trouble. I mean it was no way Chappell’s fault but the fact remains, wherever he goes, whatever he does, it has always kicked up a row and everything seems in mess.

Sick of clichĂ©s, I was trying neologism and that’s the gem I stumbled on, Shit Midas. Whenever Greg laid his fingers on something, it turned shit. You have Team India before you.

1 comment:

Arindom said...