Dravid was invested in India becoming the best but not everyone in the team had the same feeling: Greg Chappell
Greg Chappell's tenure as head coach of the Indian cricket team is one of the most controversial chapters in Indian cricket. Chappell was appointed the successor of John Wright but ended up having tumultuous two years as coach. Under Chappell, India suffered a first-round exit in the 2007 World Cup following defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The result was received with a lot of backlash and the former Australia captain was released from his duty.
Besides the Chappell-Sourav Ganguly saga, plenty of other things happened behind closed doors, some of which were revealed by former India cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh and others. Tendulkar in his autobiography had revealed how he was shocked when Chappell approached him to become captain of the team a month prior to the World Cup, Harbhajan termed the former Australia captain as a 'school headmaster' for the way he operated and ran things.
Now, years later, Chappell has presented his side of the story, revealing details of what transpired in the Indian dressing room during his stint as coach between 2005 and 2007. Chappell explained how Rahul Dravid, the then-captain of the team, wanted India to strive for the best. Chappell pointed out that he spotted 'resistance' in some players, and that did not work well for the team back in the day.
"Dravid was really invested in India becoming the best team in the world. Sadly, not everyone in the team had the same feeling. They would rather concentrate on being in the team. There was some resistance from some of the senior players, because some of them were coming to the end of their careers," Chappell revealed on Cricket Life Stories Podcast.
Furthermore, the former coach also explained how the axing of Ganguly first as captain and then from the team, sent a message to the players about their place in the Indian team, but it all stopped when the former captain returned to the XI ahead of India's tour of South Africa in late 2006. The 'resistance' which Chappell mentioned, played a role in him leaving his role as India coach.
"When Sourav got dropped from the team, we had a lot of attention from the players, because they realized if he can go, anyone can go. We had a great 12 months, but then the resistance got too much, Ganguly came back into the team. The message from the players was loud and clear – 'We don't want change.' Even though the board offered me a new contract, I decided that I did not need that kind of stress," Chappell added.