The clock has turned full circle. Now that another World Cup beckons after four long years, the bitterness of the famous spat of the World Cup in the West Indies between Sachin Tendulkar and the then India coach Greg Chappell seems to have subsided.
Just before the 2011 World Cup, Chappell finally breaks his four-year-long silence on the issue. Chappell admits that faced with a similar scenario today, he would have handled Tendulkar differently.
The Australian wanted reluctant Tendulkar to bat in the middle order during India's ill-fated campaign in the Caribbean World Cup.
In a book on Tendulkar titled 'SACH', written by noted sports scribe Gautam Bhattacharya, Chappell has recalled the entire spat but insisted that he and Tendulkar buried the hatchet within a few days of the controversy. Chappell said the conditions in the West Indies demanded a power-hitter in the middle order and the choice was between Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar. Since Sehwag refused the offer, Tendulkar was approached who agreed reluctantly.
"It wasn't just me alone. Rahul Dravid was also involved in the idea. We felt the matches were going to get decided in those middle overs and you needed the brilliance of either a Sachin or Sehwag to play in that position," Chappell revealed.
"Sehwag didn't seem very keen. So we sat down with Sachin. We put it down to him and he seemed reluctant. He thought top-of-the-order was the best place for him. But we were still in the discussion as Rahul and myself were convinced no other batsman in the team would be able to do it. Sachin finally agreed, but made it known that he wasn't happy doing it, " said the Australian.
"...that experience has taught me a lesson. Today confronted with a similar situation I would still put the idea across to him and explain. But if he shows any kind of discomfort I won't push. I would let him decide," Chappell said.