Bengaluru, January 23: Batting great Greg Chappell has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to take a leaf out of Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) books and invest in talent to avoid becoming "also-rans" in no time.
An injury-hit India sans their star players notched up an incredible 2-1 win over Australia in the four-Test series and Chappell believes it is the robust domestic structure and efforts put in by the BCCI which prepares its youngsters to take on the rigours of international cricket.
The former Indian coach said that young Australian cricketers are still in "primary school" compared to their Indian counterparts.
"Our young cricketers are weekend warriors compared to their Indian compatriots, who get challenging matchplay from the Under-16 age group onwards," Chappell wrote in a column for Sydney Morning Herald.
When Australia saw the colour of the Gabba pitch, alarm bells should have been ringing. This was never going to be the "Gabbatoir". It was more like a T20 pitch on day one | Greg Chappell https://t.co/j16gVuNw5L— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) January 22, 2021
"By the time an Indian player reaches the national XI, he has had an all-round apprenticeship that prepares him to walk into the Indian side with a reasonable chance of success.
"I'm afraid, in comparison, Will Pucovski and Cameron Green are still in primary school in terms of experience."
Pointing out the huge difference in the amount spent by the two boards, Chappell said CA "cannot be making 1960s Holdens in this age of electric cars."
"The BCCI is investing millions of dollars in budding Indian cricketers. CA, by comparison, spends $44m dollars on the Sheffield Shield. The comparative spending gap isn't a gulf; it's the size of the Indian Ocean," he wrote.
"If CA doesn't realise what it takes to be competitive in Test cricket and our entire cricket administration doesn't change its attitude on where to invest in talent, we'll be also-rans in no time."
Chappell said "the skill level of Indian youth teams would embarrass some of our first-class teams".
"Their ability to deal with pressure has been cultivated in the cauldron of hard-fought matches. That level of intensity cannot be replicated in nets or against lesser opponents. The fact that India has 38 first-class teams should give you an idea of the depth of talent available," he wrote.
Chappell added that India's "level of investment from grassroots up has left the rest of the cricket world in its wake" and "the havoc that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has wreaked on cricket coffers around the world will only widen the gap between India and the have-nots."
(With PTI inputs)