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  Sports   Cricket  27 Feb 2018  Chappell’s ideas led to our downfall: Dada

Chappell’s ideas led to our downfall: Dada

THE ASIAN AGE. | HARPREET KAUR LAMBA
Published : Feb 27, 2018, 1:03 am IST
Updated : Feb 27, 2018, 1:03 am IST

Ganguly writes, “Once I asked Shane Warne what the difference was between the South African and Australian teams of his era.

Sourav Ganguly and former India coach Greg Chappell.
 Sourav Ganguly and former India coach Greg Chappell.

New Delhi: One cannot get enough of the Sourav Ganguly vs Greg Chappell saga that shook Indian cricket in the early 2000s, the rumblings of which were even heard in Parliament.

Having brought in a radical change in the way India played cricket during that period, Ganguly built an aggressive, fighting unit that begun to do well overseas till a sudden turn of events saw the India skipper out in the cold in 2005.

 

In his book A Century is Not Enough, that will hit the stands this week, Ganguly reflects on what went wrong during the Chappell era and also reveals that the Australian “brought a cameraperson to record the team activities in the dressing room”, something he terms as “a massive invasion of privacy” and “outrageous”.

Says Ganguly in the Juggernaut-published book, “Believe me, our Australian coach would bring a cameraperson to record the team activities on video. I found it outrageous. I have no idea why he did that. Was it to create some documentation for him?

“Whatever the reason, the players didn’t take it too kindly. They found it a massive invasion of privacy.”

 

Ganguly, who was branded by Chappell as a “disruptive influence on the team”, reflects on what went wrong, in a period he describes as the “darkest of his career”.

Ganguly writes, “Once I asked Shane Warne what the difference was between the South African and Australian teams of his era.

“Warne explained it beautifully. ‘South Africa was as good as us,’ he said in his typical Australian swagger. While we encouraged the players to express their natural flair, South Africa went into a match with preconceived notions. They were rarely flexible. That’s why we hammered them.’

“I saw Warne’s point,” Ganguly says, referring to Chappell’s stint. “This is exactly what led to the downfall of Greg Chappell’s India. Greg always wanted a certain style of cricket from his team.

 

“I remember the series opener in Nagpur when I was staging a comeback in the one-day team. He instructed us to approach the initial overs aggressively, the middle overs normally and then accelerate towards the end. I found it inexplicable.

“Fixed ideas constrained the players and I felt we were treading on the wrong path,” the former skipper says.

On his captaincy days, Ganguly shares an incident on how his decision to promote Virender Sehwag to the opening slot in Test cricket made the latter nervous!

“When I asked Sehwag to open in Test cricket, he was understandably nervous. He told me quite anxiously, ‘Agar main fail ho jayen toh? (What if I fail?)’

 

“I assured him, Viru, irrespective of what happens, you will remain in the side.”

A veteran of 113 Tests and 311 one-dayers, Ganguly explains how it was important to instil confidence in youngsters.

“My captaincy model was characterised by two distinctive pillars. Proper identification of talent and then ensuring the young finds played fearless cricket. Picking Harbhajan Singh was another gamble.

“I was very clear in my mind that I would play only to win. One, I wanted to the team to perform well overseas. Two, I wanted to change the body language and attitude of the team,” he writes.

Tags: sourav ganguly, greg chappell