portions of Chappell' mail discussed here are in dark black where as counter arguments are given in dark
Happy reading ........
came to me following the recently completed tri-series of one-day matches
here in Zimbabwe and asked me to tell him honestly where he stood as a player in my view. I told him that I thought he was
struggling as a player and that it was affecting his ability to lead the
team effectively and that the pressure of captaincy was affecting his
ability to play to his potential.
When a captain with five years of experience of leading the team , comes
to a new coach of five months old and ask something "honest"-ly
( Chappell accept that in his word) regarding his batting , the immediate
responsibility of Coach will be to show him the way to correct his batting
. Bug Greg, such a megalomaniac because of his stature in Aussie cricket,
he started making comments crossing his own limits as a coach. This
sentence of Chappell clearly proves that Sourav Ganguly had the true
intention to wriggle out of his batting lean phase and quite naturally he
went to coach for suggestion. But Chappell blew the issue out of
proportion and made an abnormal situation which could have been a very
normal daily player coach discussion.
I also told
him that his state of mind was fragile and it showed in the way that he made
decisions on and off the field in relation to the team, especially team
I also told
Sourav that his nervous state was affecting the team in other ways as he
was prone to panic during pressure situations in games and that his
nervous demeanour was putting undue pressure on the rest of the team.
Chappell! You have your own set of opinions and so we have! We , Indians
trust more such 'fragile mind' since that very 'mind' was instrumental
behind 21 test victories . A historic Victory in Pakistan - India's first
away from home in 11 years - made that 'mind' -- India 's most successful
Test captain ever.
Australia under the stewardship of that 'mind' leadership
scaled new heights when a brilliant century by the owner of that 'fragile
mind' in the opening test at Brisbane set the tone for the whole series and provided much required confidence to whole team . When
Such 'fragile mind' took over the captaincy after the match-fixing exposes
in 2000, he quickly proved to be a tough, intuitive and uncompromising
leader, traits best illustrated in the historic series against Australia
in 2001 . The efficacy of that 'mind' reached to its crescendo when a
splendid eight-match winning streak took team India all the way to the
World Cup final in 2003 ; -- 20 years after the
victory of prudential cup !
…..! The 'mind' has proved his mettle for years.
achieve his feats and then only desire to attack that' mind' Mr. Chappell.
pacing of the rooms during our batting in the final plus his desire to
change the batting order during our innings in the final had also
contributed to nervousness in the players waiting to go in to bat.
is known in international Cricket for his aggressive stewardship. He is
perhaps the first captain from India who took the cricketing world by
storm for his tough, never-say- die demeanor! Even Sourav's staunch
critics will find Chappell's this statement quite vague and out of sync! A
nervous captain cannot become the most successful captain in the cricket
history of a country with such a thumping success and records.
I was in the
nets with other players when Sourav went in to bat, but the new ball had
either just been taken or was imminent when I saw Sourav walking from the
field holding his right arm……… I suggested, as had John Gloster,
that we get some further tests done immediately. Sourav rejected these
suggestions and said he would be 'fine'. When I queried what he meant by
'fine' he said he would be fit for the Test match. I then queried why then
was it necessary to be off the field now. He said that he was just taking
through that part of Chappell's mail, anyone can understand that he was
pressurizing Sourav deliberately. Later it was also proved when Sourav
came back to India, that he was suffering from minor tennis elbow injury
and doctors in India advised him to take rest. It is quite common that
before any big match, if players get hurt in practice session, they
generally take rest since nothing can heel the injured part better than
giving that area an absolute rest. So Sourav's normal behaviour , the way
Chappell took with a pinch of salt proves only a point that Chappell's
conspiracy got under its way then already.
loss of Kaif, Yuvraj and Karthik to the new ball, Sourav returned to the
crease with the ball now around 20 overs old. He struggled for runs
against a modest attack and eventually threw his wicket away trying to hit
one of the spinners over the leg side.
The next day
I enquired with a number of the players as to what they had thought of
Sourav's retirement. The universal response was that it was 'just Sourav'
as they recounted a list of times when Sourav had suffered from mystery
injuries that usually disappeared as quickly as they had come. This
disturbed me because it confirmed for me that he was in a fragile state of
mind and it was affecting the mental state of other members of the squad.
accusing Sourav that in front of a modest attack he threw his wicket, but
what the other players did, especially the players Chappell did back! And
based on his whims and fancies, he comes to the conclusion that once
Sourav is cheekily out, so it is time for him to call the day! How
ridiculous a person's judgment can be! Don't you feel that it is entirely
a motivated, calculated ploy? Chappell has already under a fixed notion
and his action only reestablished and reinforced that very notion which
defies any logic, sense and sensibility!
Had the game
of cricket been free from board politics, such a coach would have been
asked to quit immediately, instead of being shielded by the men in
authority! But this is India and we watch great Indian cricket circus!
I was so
concerned about the affect that Sourav's actions were having on the team
that I decided I could not wait until selection meeting that evening to
inform him that I had serious doubts about picking him for the first Test
Our point is
simple! Is Greg Confused? Is he sure of his roles and responsibilities? Is
he a coach or selector? Even wild Akhtar has been tamed by Pakistan coach.
The core role of any coach is to correct the faults of his players.
that, in my view, I felt we had to pick Kaif and Yuvraj following their
good form in the one-day series and that Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman and
Dravid had to play. He said that his record was better than Kaif and
Yuvraj and that they had not proved themselves in Test cricket.
On the eve of
first Test at Bulawayo , Greg Chappell apparently asked Sourav Ganguly in
a closed door meeting in presence of Vice-captain Rahul Dravid that he
didn't fit into the team composition and that Yuvraj and Kaif should be
given a chance. Just in the entire episode, observe the sense of timing of
Greg Chappell! Just before a test to initiate such an issue is tantamount
to play with the morale of the team! Chappell has shown the audacity
clearly to take over the role of coach-cum-selector. First time in the
history of Indian cricket, a coach has asked a captain to step down.
any sane person Sourav is correct because Yuvraj and Kaif may be
successful in one day, but the nature of One day and test is vastly
different and success in one type of cricket cannot be extrapolated to the
other one. There are a plethora of example international cricket where one
is very successful in ODI but not picked up in test because test match
demands more maturity and experience.
A good example
can be – Bivan in aussie side and Afridi for Pakistan .
Both are formidable in ODI but they hardly get chance in test cricket.
completion of the Test match I was approached by VVS Laxman with a
complaint that Sourav had approached him on the eve of the Test saying
that I had told Sourav that I did not want Laxman in the team for Test
matches………… I had told him that I did not see a place for Laxman
in one-day cricket, something that I had discussed with Sourav and the
selection panel and………. In each case the comments that Sourav has
passed on to the individual are figments of Sourav's imagination. One can
only assume that he does it to unnerve the individual who, in each case,
has been a middle order batsman
Tell us Mr.
Chappell , if a good performance in ODI( by Yuvraj and Kaif) can
be extrapolated to selection in Test match then why not your comment on
someone like Laxman on his non inclusion in ODI
can't be extrapolated to Test match ! When something you say, it becomes
correct and gospel truth; when same analogy is used by Sourav, it becomes
wrong! Same scenario, same type of analogy and two different opinions! Why
does is designed to maximise his chance of success and is usually
detrimental to someone else's chances
biggest critic will feel very embarrassed; once he listens Greg's such
irresponsible comment! Sourav Ganguly is revered amongst true cricket
lovers for his rise-above-regionalism attitude and at the cost of his
batting order, he promoted other players. A very big example is Sehwag.
Sourav left his favourite opening slot to Sehwag and he came down himself
to middle order. Though he is a man with golden arm, he for the greater
interest of the team allowed regular bowlers to utilize their best
potential. He stood thick and thin to his boys when they are in any
trouble. Even he dared fighting the board for the interest of his boys!
Yes! Sourav wanted to 'maximise' one thing and that was ---the success of
his team! And the proof is: just from another any team, status Indian team
has been converted to 'Team India'—a brand and force to reckon with.
training reports continue to show Sourav as the person who does the least
fitness and training work based on the criterion that has been developed
by the support staff to monitor the work load of all the
other views .This will tell you that Greg Chappell is not a cricket guru
rather a guru of conspiracy.
the English county team Glamorgan defended Sourav Ganguly few days
back by saying the Indian captain worked hard on and off the field. Paul
Russel, Chief of Glamorgan team for which Ganguly played last season, said
"Ganguly is an outstanding professional who settled into the team and
worked hard on and off the field. "He always came to team
practice in time and did whatever he was told to do so. He was very
regular for training. I personally drove him to the gym when he had joined
what little I've seen of him that he's a very hard-working cricketer.
Indian cricket legend Gavaskar opined. He continues by saying -" He
likes to get into the nets and work at his batting and bowl in the nets, a
lot more than perhaps do 20 laps of the ground or whatever that some other
We have also
developed parameters of batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy that we
believe embodies the 'Commitment to Excellence' theme that I espoused at
my interview and Sourav falls well below the acceptable level in all
talks about physical fitness and mental strength, but he is yet to
understand the basic reason that make the game so popular in this country.
Cricketers play it with all their heart, and fans follow it all their
passion. This is what makes Indian cricket unique. It is less of
calculated mathematics and more of blind faith. Australian rigour cannot
be applied in same manner to Indian soil since the game sustains its
attraction especially because of its star players and icons.
And if after
scoring 15000 runs in both forms of game and being the most successful
captain by miles in Indian cricketing history, if Greg says Sourav is not
at par with his standard of excellence, then our point is – we only
believe in such excellence which can ensure India's series win against
Australia and Pakistan, heavyweights and also a final berth in the 2003
I can assure
you sir that all my actions in this matter, and all others since my
appointment, have been with the aim of improving the team performance
toward developing a team that will represent India with distinctions in
Test match and one-day cricket.
This team has
been made to be fearful and distrusting by the rumour mongering and deceit
that is Sourav's modus operandi of divide and rule. Certain players have
been treated with favour, all of them bowlers, while others have been
shunted up and down the order or left out of the team to suit Sourav's
accusations against Sourav Ganguly fell flat. For example, he has charged
Ganguly with dividing the team to ensure he keeps the captaincy. Fact is
anybody looking to extend his captaincy would work towards keeping
everyone happy. A divided house only causes problems. Moreover, Ganguly
(incidentally, our most successful Test captain) has been the architect of
Team India as we've known it for the past few years. Why would he destroy
obviously allowed this to go on to the detriment of the team. I am not
prepared to sit back and allow this to continue or we will get the same
results we have been seeing for some time now…..
us listen what Wright says : Greg has only been in the job five months and
at the moment it doesn't look like
(he and Ganguly) would go on holiday together," said Wright, who
served Indian cricket for almost five years .
I always looked at it this way - the team
was selected for me, whoever that was, with a captain, with a player. You
didn't get a vote on selection but my job was to ensure that as coach they
were prepared and performed to the best of their ability," he said,
indirectly taking a swipe at Chappell's observation that Indian captain as
well as some of the players did not deserve to be in the team.
almost like performance coaching and I hope we made some progress over the
four years I was there." said Wright, who helped India win series
against Australia and Pakistan as also a final berth in the 2003 World
It is time
that all players were treated with fairness and equity and that good
behaviours and attitudes are rewarded at the selection table rather than
After almost 3
months of your mail, you have proved your statement wrong Mr. Chappell .
stage, you and your coterie differentiated Sourav Ganguly. You bend your
rule as per your requirement in Ganguly issue .Time and again you have
proved the saying: show me the man, I will show the rule .Indeed, you
treated Ganguly with fairness and equity! Even losing his captaincy by an
unsporting conspiracy, still Sourav maintained his calm and showed his
interest to perform for the best intention of the team. You simply ignored
I can assure
you of my very best intentions…………..
Yes, we are
now quite sure of your 'best intention' .Last few months there is a
hurricane over the Indian cricket and it was brought in Indian soil by
none other but Greg Chappell. Instead of doing the core job , for the '
best intention' Mr.Chappell has poked his nose in so many non core
activities that new featurs like --anxiety, scepticism ,
miscommunication , off the field politics are looming large over Indian
cricket . 'Best intentions' --indeed !