Former Australian skipper Greg Chappell feels his country has fallen behind India and England in identifying and preparing young cricketing talent.
Greg Chappell said on Wednesday that Australia used to be a powerhouse in developing young cricketers but has now lost bragging rights to India and England.
He stated that former India skipper and head coach for India's U-19 and 'A' teams, Rahul Dravid, emulated the old Aussie system in his country.
"Historically we've been one of the best at developing young players and keeping them in the system, but I think that's changed in the last couple of years. That's unacceptable. We cannot afford to lose one player. India have got their act together and that's largely because Rahul Dravid has picked our brains, seen what we're doing and replicated it in India and with their much larger (population) base. I think we've already lost our position as the best at identifying talent and bringing it through. I think England are doing it better than us now and India are doing it better than us," Chappell told cricket.com.au in an interaction.
Greg Chappell cited the example of India's famous victory in the Gabba Test of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The former India coach argued that Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, the best performers in the game, had enough experience of playing in international conditions with the India A program, unlike their counterparts Will Pucovski and Cameron Green.
"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. 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," claimed Greg Chappell.
Greg Chappell suggests solutions to the depleting reserves
Greg Chappell proposed a couple of radical solutions to the vexing issue. He batted for the completion of the Sheffield Shield season before the domestic 50-over tournament and the Big Bash League, as well as more opportunities for U-23 and Australia A tours.
"One of the things I believe would make a big difference would be trying to play a full block of Sheffield Shield cricket so that guys get a run at red-ball cricket. Playing five Shield games and then 50-over cricket and then BBL and then finishing the end of the Shield season just breaks up that opportunity to develop long-form batting, which is a good foundation for the other formats anyway.
The back-half of the season I would use for Australia A games. I'd have an Australian Under-23 team either touring or having other teams visiting Australia, just to get another level and a higher standard between Shield cricket and Test cricket," concluded Greg Chappell.
The Australian team have a rather lightly-packed international schedule for 2021, with their next Test assignment being a historic game against Afghanistan in November.