Two days before the game against the West Indies at Motera, Greg Chappell gave his players a dressing down. Reportedly it was not a rare occurrence, except that this time, it was public.
Chappell could not possibly have missed out on the fact that his castigation of his players would be widely known in seconds - he did it in full view and hearing of the print and electronic media and various others watching the Indian nets.
The Indian coach obviously wanted people to know he was unhappy with the team, so Rahul Dravid’s defence of Chappell and blaming the media for reporting it makes little sense.
Asked about the incident on Saturday, Dravid said it was “unfortunate” that the media had reported an incident that was “private”. “What he said was not any different from what I had heard from other coaches.
When you are part of sports teams, coaches and captains often say things that need to be said. People assumed a lot of things from what they heard and many of this was taken out of context.”
An upset Dravid said it was a “sign of the times we live in that every little thing we say is blown up”. But it was his final statement on the subject that was somewhat unfair. “If people think they can eavesdrop on a private conversation…”
If the Indian skipper really believes that the conversation was private, he should have stopped his coach then and there and asked that the dressing down be done in the dressing room, behind closed doors, or even at the other end of the field, where they could have been seen but not, at least, heard. This was obviously public.
Meanwhile, he also staunchly defended his think-tank’s decisions, especially the one to keep Pathan on at No. 3, one that has come under fire. “We know that we can keep reviewing things,” he said. “If things work, then fine, if not, we can change them around.
“I can’t tell people not to have their opinions, but what I would like to add is that there is a lot of experience in our management team. I am not saying every decision we take will be the right one, but I have played a few games, Viru (Virender Sehwag) has been around for a while, Sachin has been around for a long time and Chappell has seen and played a lot of cricket. There is, like I said, a lot of experience in our management team.”