New Delhi, Nov 4: Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has disclosed that the then India coach Greg Chappell had made a “shocking” suggestion to him to take over India’s captaincy from Rahul Dravid months before the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.
Tendulkar is scathing in his criticism of Chappell who was the national coach from 2005 to 2007.
The master batsman in his autobiography “Playing it My Way” due for release on Thursday writes Greg Chappell told him: “Together, we could control Indian cricket for years”, during a visit to his home. He also offered to “help me in taking over the reins of the side” from Dravid.
Elaborating on the coach’s bid to replace Dravid, Tendulkar writes, “Just months before the World Cup, Chappell had come to see me at home and, to my dismay, suggested that I should take over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid.”
“Anjali (Tendulkar’s wife), who was sitting with me was equally shocked to hear him say that ‘together, we could control Indian cricket for year’, and that he would help me in taking over the reins of the side.
“I was surprised to hear the coach not showing the slightest amount of respect for the captain, with cricket’s biggest tournament just months away”, Tendulkar writes.
He says that he had rejected Chappell’s proposition outright. “He stayed for a couple of hours, trying to convince me before finally leaving”.
Lashing out against former India coach Greg Chappell in his autobiography, Sachin Tendulkar has described the veteran Australian cricketer as a “ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not”.
Appointed coach of the national Indian cricket team in May 2005, Chappell had a controversial stint with the team. While his spats with Sourav Ganguly made headlines repeatedly, Tendulkar has now come out and criticised the former Aussie legend who, in 2011, had called him ‘fragile on occasions’.
The two had a fallout when Chapell tried to tinker with Tendulkar’s batting position. He later regretted the decision. “My biggest regret was falling out with Sachin over him batting at number four in the one-day team,” Chappell was reportedly quoted as saying in September 2011.
It may be nnoted that Chappell also tried to bring in several other changes in the Indian team during his stint as coach. Most of these were not appreciated by senior players.
Even Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh previously slammed him and showed support for Ganguly. “It was as if you’ve been framed. It was like ‘we don’t want you in the team. It’s not about performance, we don’t like your attitude, you’re stopping the growth of cricket in the Indian team’. I felt it personally because I was dropped straight after the Sri Lanka tour, even though I had not performed badly,” Zaheer had told a news channel.
(With Agency Inputs)