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I'm not Chappell's puppet: Dravid

The Indian captain has dismissed suggestions that the coach runs the team by remote control.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 21:10 IST

India's cricket captain Rahul Dravid warmed up for the upcoming Pakistan tour by rubbishing suggestions that coach Greg Chappell runs the team by remote control.

Dravid, who leaves for Pakistan on Thursday on his first foreign tour as a full-fledged captain, said it was wrong to assume the former Australian great was a despot.

"I've not found him domineering at all," Dravid said in an interview in the inaugural issue of the Cricinfo magazine which hits the stands on Thursday.

"Chappell has been more than willing to listen to my ideas and my thoughts and I get a very good say.

"At the end of the day I think he believes that a captain must get what he wants. In fact, in a lot of ways we do a lot of things in my way."

Dravid took over in October after his predecessor Sourav Ganguly was sacked following a public row with the outspoken Chappell.

"Like anything, sometimes it takes a bit of time for people to understand what the other person is trying to do and achieve," said Dravid in defence of the coach.

"I think the guys have responded very well. I've really enjoyed it. In a lot of ways he's trying to bring in some new thoughts, some new ideas. We have our opinions and sometimes we agree and sometimes we might disagree.

"At the end of the day he's done a really good job. He's trying to coach teams in a slightly different way. I think it's a good way."

Asked what kind of team he wanted under him, Dravid said: "Tough, competitive -- a team that is looking to improve and have some fun along the way.

"Not taking things too seriously as at the end of the day it is sport and we must have a lot of fun playing it and must play it hard."

Without naming anyone, Dravid also spelt out what kind of players he did not want in the side.

"You don't want people whose own insecurities, whose own problems and whose own fears drag everyone else down. That can be a big dampener in teams," he said.

"I want to say that at this level I shouldn't need to motivate anyone. If I'm needing to motivate an international cricketer then there's something wrong actually. The challenge is to not demotivate anyone.

"If you're going to be spending time in the team always having to cajole and look after a few people in the team, you're doing a disservice to the rest.

"You're wasting and investing too much time and energy in a few people who're taking away from the group.

"Players need to understand that they need to give energy to the unit. There are times of course when you're not doing well, and your form's not good and you'll need the support of other people.

"But most of the time you've got to give to the team and make sacrifices to the team and give back to the team."

India will play three Tests and five one-dayers in Pakistan, the third series between the neighbours in the last two years.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:27 IST