Dravid replacing Dada as captain was a significant change: Raina recalls 'occasional unrest among seniors' in Team India
Former India batsman Suresh Raina has revealed that he did not have the smoothest of relations with some of the senior players of the Indian team initially in his career. Raina made his India debut in 2005 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid and when Greg Chappell was the coach. Raina did not name the individuals, but explained that he would occasionally receive a cold shoulder from some players upon his arrival in the Indian team.
"I remember one of the senior players of the team came up to me to mock me, saying that I was the only one who got all the 'extra' practice sessions as if it was only me who was going to play the match. So, I quickly asked him to join me because I had no intentions to hurt anyone. For me, ragging was no big deal since I was used to that, thanks to my hostel life. But I wouldn't say anyone ever got 'ragged' in the Indian dressing room," read an excerpt from Raina's autobiography 'Believe', as quoted by Mid-Day.
"Believe me, I know what ragging is. We didn’t have that. What we did have were some tense moments with some players. There were instances when we would greet some of the senior players in the morning, and they wouldn’t greet back. But I never took these to heart."
The Chappell era remains an infamous one in the history of Indian cricket. It was a time when Indian cricket was in a bit of a turmoil with the whole Sourav Ganguly-Chappell fallout, which was followed in India's early elimination from the 2007 World Cup.
With Ganguly out of the team, Dravid replaced him as the captain of the team, which Raina revealed was one of the reasons behind tension between some senior players. The former left-handed batsmen informed that even though Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Dravid would try and maintain a positive environment in the team, it wasn't all hunky-dory.
"There were certain players, like Rahul bhai (Dravid) and Sachin Paaji, who were revered in the dressing room. They would try to keep things calm. Another significant change at that time was Dravid replacing Dada as the captain," the excerpt read.
"So, it was the accumulation of all these factors that led to the occasional unrest among the seniors. It was a transitional period for the team. Not every junior player felt comfortable in that situation. But my relations with Rahul Bhai were very good."