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Chappell slams Indians for 'negative tactics'

November 09, 2008 22:26 IST

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has slammed the Indian team for resorting to "negative tactics" via defensive field placings in Nagpur and has urged cricket administrators to review fielding rules to stop such a ploy.

Chappell was angered by India captain MS Dhoni's decision to employ eight men on the off-side when Australia batted on the third day and his insistence that his fast bowlers pitch the ball wide off stump.

Australia could manage just 166 runs off 85.4 overs, the 12th smallest score achieved in a full day of Test cricket, and Chappell did not find fault with Australia batsmen but laid the charge on Indians.

"It is not the sort of cricket I like to see," Chappell said.

"Administrators have got to think about suggesting that perhaps no more than two-thirds of the fielders can be on one side of the wicket.

"It really isn't a lot of fun watching the bowlers bowling well wide of the stumps and batsmen putting their bats on their shoulders," he said.

"India dominated the day's play and it was really up to the Australians to get moving. India employed tactics that probably don't make for good viewing but I guess Dhoni will say 'at the end of the day, we're leading by 86 runs and I don't care what you think of my tactics'," the former Australia captain told Cricinfo.

Chappell also took a swipe at India's sluggish over-rate, though the Australians had to deal with the same problem on the fourth day on Sunday.

"The over-rates were appalling again. The Indians really showed the true colour of cricketers. They are just not bothered by fines. They were quite prepared to slow the over-rate in the morning and even use it as a tactic. That is ridiculous," he said.

Chappell said that while such tactics were allowed to be employed, captains can be fined or suspended depending on how far short a team was to completing the required 90 overs a day.

"Until the administrators suspend the captain for a couple of Tests, they are not going to get anywhere with over-rates," Chappell said.

"They haven't got anywhere with fines because fines don't work. They need to start suspending the captain."

Australia, too, have worked to an essentially defensive battle plan all series, placing men on the ropes to limit the flow of boundaries while also eschewing the conventional slip cordon for catchers and run-savers in front of the wicket. 

Chappell offered no comment on this but the strategy has been heavily criticised by the Indian team.

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