Heavy bats, lack of off-spinners worry Greg Chappell

March 19th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Former India cricket coach Greg Chappell is worried that heavy bats are taking the beauty out of the game, making youngsters mere pushers of the ball rather than exquisite drivers. The former Australia captain, himself a graceful driver of the ball, observed here Wednesday that the trend of playing with heavy bats is not confined to India. Chappell is here on a talent search mission for a private company.

“Heavy bats are a worry because they tend to make batsmen pushers rather than drivers,” Chappell told reporters at the Jamia Millia Islamia University where he saw over 1,200 youngsters in action over two days as part of the talent hunt.

Another aspect of the modern game that concerns Chappell is the vanishing breed of off-spinners.

“We saw very few (good) off-spinners during our search,” he said, referring to his recent visits to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi, as bio-mechanist Ian Frazer nodded in agreement.

“And that is why selection becomes critical,” he said.

The increasingly cramped cities also worry Chappell.

“With people coming over to urban areas, there are no empty spaces in cities - an issue that cricket has to deal with,” said the man who had an eventful tenure as India’s coach, from 2005 to 2007.

Frazer, who worked with the Indian team during Chappell’s reign, said that Indian youngsters should have proper diet to help them develop bodies that are able to bear the strain of the increasing demands of the modern game.

“Diet is an issue. Indian boys are less matured physically than the youngsters we found in other countries. That is why the Rajasthan Cricket Academy in Jaipur has made a programme with the help of the Army to develop the talent quickly,” he said.

“Today, there are big demands and they play a lot more cricket and they need to have bodies that stand up to it.”

Frazer and Chappell are coaches at the Jaipur academy, affiliated to the Rajasthan Cricket Association.

Chappell declined to take questions on the Indian team’s tour to Australia.

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