'Sachin felt let down by Dravid's declaration'
A high-voltage behind the scenes drama was sparked off in the Indian dressing room by Rahul Dravid's abrupt declaration in the Multan Test which left Sachin Tendulkar stranded only six runs short of a double century, the then coach John Wright has revealed.
Tendulkar, batting on 194 in the first Test against archrivals Pakistan, left no one in doubt that "he felt let down", Wright says in his just-published book Indian Summers, disclosing for the first time the tense moments the Indian camp went through although publicly every effort had been made at that time to play down the controversy.
Acknowledging that the team management had a "hot potato on our hands", the former New Zealand captain says he spent a sleepless night whereas captain Sourav Ganguly, who missed the Test because of an injury, was worried that the issue would snowball and end up dividing the team.
Wright says no one could be blamed in particular for the situation which could have been avoided had he himself been able to convince Dravid to declare earlier.
"Midway through the final session, Dravid declared, as you do when you're 675 for 5. What Indian captains don't tend to do, however, is declare when Sachin Tendulkar is on 194 not out," Wright writes in the book.
"The matter became a full-fledged sensation when Tendulkar told a press conference he was disappointed not to get his double century."
Wright says had he been the captain, he would have declared a lot earlier, allowing Pakistan to face about 25 overs and with Tendulkar on about 170.
But the former New Zealand captain also points out that Tendulkar needed to "move on" after tea when things got slow.