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'India has the team it wanted'

March 6, 2007
Greg Chappell has been interviewed before - by many people, across many publications.

He has in these interviews spoken to the questions asked - briefly in some cases, extensively in others.

An interview, by its nature, is restrictive - it ties the subject down to the questions that are posed; those questions in turn dictate the nature, and agenda, of the interview.

We wanted to do it a bit differently. So, on the eve of the team's departure for the World Cup, we caught up with the national coach at the Taj Mahal Hotel, in Mumbai, set a tape recorder before him, and invited him to talk.

On what, he asked. We offered one comprehensive theme: 21-odd months previously, he had taken over as coach of the national cricket team, with the stated mission of preparing Team India for World Cup 2007.

How much of that initial vision has been realized and how much not? What has worked, what has not? And, with just hours to go before the team leaves on its Carribbean campaign, how ready is the team for its assault on glory?

With that much by way of cue, Chappell spoke, without interruption, for the next 41 minutes before another commitment turned his attention elsewhere. We present his take - on his vision, on the team, on its state of readiness.

It is one uninterrupted soliloquy; for ease of listening, we have cut it into sections. So, here goes: Chappell, solo, complete, unabridged.

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