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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Chappell relishes India challenge
Greg Chappell
Chappell will now come under scrutiny like never before
Greg Chappell promised "a commitment to excellence on and off the field" after being named as India's new coach.

"From my point of view, this is one of the most exciting jobs in cricket and one one of the greatest challenges in cricket," said Chappell.

"It's about maintaining the quality of cricket that India plays.

"It will require a big part to be played by myself, the players, the administrators and the selectors," the Australian continued.

Chappell suceeds New Zealander John Wright, who stepped down following the recent home series against Pakistan.

It is thought he will be paid at a rate of more than 90,000 per year, plus expenses.

India under-performed against their arch-rivals, drawing the Test series 1-1 and losing the one-dayers 4-2.

There are ongoing issues about the position of captain Sourav Ganguly, whose form with the bat has been poor, the bowling action of spinner Harbhajan Singh and the fitness of their seamers.

And Chappell wasted no time in indicating that he wants a say in team selection.

"How that takes place will figure in discussions I have with the BCCI [Indian board]. I hope to build a good relationship with the selectors."

But he said: "I come with my eyes open."

The job will be Chappell's first taste of coaching at senior international level and he has the task of satisfying the aspirations of the millions of Indian supporters in a cricket-crazy country.

Ganguly and his team looked capable of challenging Australia's position as the game's number one side in home and away series in 2003-04, but have struggled for consistency since then.

"The Indian team is number three in Test cricket and number eight in one-day cricket.

"Hopefully, we can improve that standing - but it's not going to happen overnight," said Chappell.




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