An African safari gone wrong for Sehwag, Greg | india | Hindustan Times
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An African safari gone wrong for Sehwag, Greg

According to a television channel, they exchanged verbal volleys on the eve of the Durban Test.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2007 23:09 IST

Indian cricket plunged into a fresh controversy on Tuesday with a television channel disclosing that coach Greg Chappell and Virender Sehwag were involved in a feud during India’s disastrous tour of South Africa.

Apart from the heated argument between Chappell and Sehwag, there were also serious differences while selecting the team for the Test matches, according to the television channel.

The sensational disclosure comes just two days before the one-day series against Sri Lanka gets underway.

The channel, quoting team manager Chetan’s Desai’s confidential report to the BCCI, said the argument between Chappell and Sehwag occurred when the out-of-form opener refused to attend a special practice session on the eve of the Durban Test.

When contacted, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said the manager’s report was with Sharad Pawar and he had no comments to make at this stage.

“I don’t want to say anything on it. The manager’s report is with the President”, he said.

“All I can say is that Sehwag was not dropped because of any disciplinary issue. He was dropped purely on form.”

The report said Chappell and expert bio-mechanist Ian Fraser came to the nets but did not find Sehwag. Later Sehwag told Chappell that he did want to practice, which angered him.

Desai’s report also claimed that paceman Munaf Patel was not fully fit to the play in the third Test and held captain Rahul Dravid largely responsible for the defeat in that crucial match in Cape Town.

Desai claimed that physio John Gloster hid Munaf’s injury till the last moment, which allowed him to play in Cape Town.

Giving instances of differences during selection meetings, the team manager said in his report that Dravid insisted on having Sehwag in the team despite his poor form.

“In that meeting, after a lot of deliberation, it was finally decided to drop Sehwag. However, after seeing the wicket the next day, Dravid suggested that since the track was likely to assist spinners, Sehwag should play,” he said in his report.

“I objected and told Greg, Dravid and Dilip (Vengsarkar) that if it was a spinners’ track, they could have Harbhajan in the team. Greg mentioned that Harbhajan was not bowling well. At this point, I said if Harbhajan is not in the team, then why Sehwag, who is not batting well, is in the team.

“Vengsarkar mentioned to Dravid if Sehwag failed and India lost the match, there would be heavy backlash back home to which Dravid replied that he was prepared for it,” he said.