Former Team India coach Greg Chappell, mostly popular for his face-off with former skipper Sourav Ganguly, made a U-turn in his thoughts about the Indian team claiming to be excited about the future of Indian cricket but worried about the future of Test matches.
"I think the future of Indian cricket is very strong. I am excited to think where Indian cricket can go and can lead the game," Chappell said while delivering the annual Tiger Pataudi lecture here.
However, one thing which worries the former Aussie skipper though is the future of Test cricket in the age of Twenty20's.
Chappell said it would be a big mistake and detrimental to the future of cricket if the longer version of the game lost its importance. Remarking that Test matches are the soul of cricket, Chappell said, "If we allow Tests to lose, cricket will lose its soul. Cricket will be poorer."
"T20 has taken the game to a different level. It is here to stay, no doubt about that. We don't need to change that," he said while stressing that Test cricket needs to be protected in such a scenario.
Explaining the importance of Tests, he said the five-day game threw up challenges which test the patience of cricketers and make them learn how to deal with the good and the bad together, said a report on the Indian Express.
Talking about the future of Indian cricket, he said if Indian players could perform well under different conditions, then nothing could stop the team.
Stating that challenges change not only with different pitches but with the progress of a Test, Chappell said,"That is where you develop players who can play all over the world. I think once your cricket embraces this, there will be no stopping what Indian cricket can achieve."
The former Aussie skipper said Indian cricket should have the best side in the world as it has the natural advantage of huge population.
"The reason why it has not happened is the plans have not been put in place," Chappell said.
"It (India) should be the next cricket super-power. It should dominate cricket in the long-term. For that, changes are needed but not ad-hoc strategies," he said adding that India should win more matches away from home.
Praising Dhoni's batting skills, Chappell said the Indian skipper developed skills because of playing on a variety of surfaces.
"The step which is equally important is to provide facilities for everybody to play cricket. It is the environment rather than the academies that produce good players," he said.
He also suggested that BCCI's pitch and grounds committee should not try to make all pitches of the same type.
"Not every pitch needs to be the same. Each region has its own nuances," he said.