Melbourne: Former India coach Greg Chappell has declined to address the Australian cricket team ahead of the Test series against MS Dhoni's men despite being invited by current coach Mickey Arthur.
"I have not spoken to the Australian team. I will not speak to the Australian team," Chappell told PTI ahead of the opening Test in Melbourne.
Chappell seemed miffed with media reports that he had agreed to join the Australian camp and also with former India captain Sourav Ganguly's comments in which he had termed the Aussie as "mad" and his reported inclusion in the Australian camp as "good news for the Indian team".
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell has confirmed that he had never agreed to address the Australian team. (Getty Images)
Arthur had asked Chappell, who worked with the Indians between 2005-2007, to share his knowledge with his wards.
The Australian media reported that Chappell had agreed to join the team during the batting camp in Melbourne on December 20-22.
Tongues started wagging when Mike Hussey, during a media interaction on Friday, commented that so far no interaction with Chappell had taken place.
The former Australian captain has now confirmed that he had never agreed to address the Australian team.
"I don't know from where the news came from," Chappell said.
Arthur wanted his struggling wards to benefit from Chappell's wisdom, a move which was welcomed by Troy Cooley, head of Australia's centre of excellence.
"Greg knows all about India's weaknesses and would be helping Australia do everything they can to beat India this summer. He will be able to help out our bowlers. He knows what the strengths and weaknesses are of the Indian batsmen.
"I am not sure if it's only about revealing Sachin Tendulkar's weaknesses, he must be aware of the rest of the pack too. After all, this is a very experienced Indian side with a lot of giants in it," Cooley had said.
It was reported in Australian media that Chappell's advice was being sought to demystify the aura of Tendulkar.
"He is one man with the knowledge to demystify the champion Australia never feel they have got the bottom of. To Australian bowlers, Tendulkar has been the master they have never mastered. His record against the Australians makes him the greatest Aussie basher of his generation," the Australian media reported.
Following the report, Ganguly launched a scathing attack on his former coach.
"He has been a selector and also the head of their academy (Australian Centre of Excellence in Brisbane) and he has been thrown out from there as well. When he came to India, it was said that his Australian mindset won't work here but he couldn't work in the Australian set up as well," Ganguly had said.
"People should realise that the problem lies with him; he is the one making mistakes. A person can be wrong once but if he commits the same mistake again and loses his job for that, then that man to me is mad.
"So I am glad that he is getting attached to the Australian team; it is good news for the Indian team. I am not surprised," he added.
Ganguly was pretty sure that Chappell's involvement would in no way help the Aussies.
"If you look back at the 2008 series which happened to be my last, Chappell was present in the Australian team's support staff. Yet we won the series 2-0. Therefore, I don't think his presence would make any difference this time also."
Chappell was also involved in Australia's think-tank during last year's Ashes summer. However, Australia again got drubbed.