India has always been a country with abundance of cricketing talent. But off late, ever since the emergence of Rahul Dravid as junior team coach, the talent pool has only gotten bigger and better. Dravid has been extremely successful in identifying and grooming young talents and it has immensely improved the bench strength of the Indian team.
Former Australia skipper Greg Chappell believes that Dravid picked the Aussie brains and implemented their model to build a solid domestic structure in India. Chappell feels that India and England have overtaken Australia in terms of recognising young talent. He is disappointed by the way Aussie talents have been sidelined in their structure lately.
“I am seeing a bunch of young players with great potential who are in limbo. That’s unacceptable. We cannot afford to lose one player. India have got their act together and that’s largely because (India’s academy chief and former Test captain) Rahul Dravid has picked our brains, seen what we’re doing and replicated it in India and with their much larger population base,” cricket.com.au quoted Chappell as saying.
“I think we’ve already lost our position as the best at identifying talent and bringing it though. I think England are doing it better than us now and India are doing it better than us,” he added.
“They’re not tyros at all, they’re quite hardened international cricketers,” Greg Chappell
India’s last tour of Australia saw many players making a mark in their debut series, while the same was not the case for the hosts. Chappell feels that India’s A tours around the world are what proved to be the difference between the debutants from both sides. The former skipper asserts that the A tours had prepared the youngsters for the hardships of international cricket.
“When you look at the Indian team that played in the Brisbane Test that had three or four fresh players, and everyone said, ‘This is India’s second XI’ – those guys had played (extensively) for India A,” said Chappell. “And in all sorts of different conditions, not just in India. So when they get picked, they’re not tyros at all, they’re quite hardened international cricketers. We picked Will Pucovski out of Shield cricket. Will has hardly had a game outside Australia. That’s the difference,” he added.
Chappell asserted that it was high time for a reform in the domestic structure of Australia. He feels that the big states are harboring talented players while they should be out in the middle, sharpening their skills. Chappell has nominated a draft system as one way of ensuring young players get regular games.
“We can’t afford for the bigger states to warehouse kids just because they might need them at some stage. I think that’s dangerous. If we were designing a structure from scratch now, we wouldn’t design it the way we have got it. I think New South Wales could possibly have a second team,” said Chappell.
“We need to disperse the talent a little bit more evenly, rather than having good talent sitting on the sidelines in Victoria and New South Wales when they could be playing really well,” he added.