Greg broke the team’s trust: Sehwag

Virender Sehwag on Monday has revealed specific reasons behind the players’ dislike for former India coach Greg Chappell and his support staff that eventually led to their ouster...

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 11:56 pm

Virender Sehwag on Monday has revealed specific reasons behind the players’ dislike for former India coach Greg Chappell and his support staff that eventually led to their ouster. The Indian opener said that Chappell betrayed players’ trust and often pressurised them to change their styles.

“He (Greg Chappell) had his view on my frontfoot play,on my footwork and everything else. The thing with him was that whatever you shared with him,it was promptly disclosed to media and selectors. He talked and that broke the trust. I wasn’t comfortable with him,” he says.

Sehwag also blames psychologist Rudi Webster,an integral part of Chappell’s support staff. “I never went to psychologist Rudi Webster alone for a session. In a session with Webster,we all had our chunk of time. I am one who believes that if you open up your thoughts to someone you trust,you feel lighter and thus better. But I found that Webster couldn’t keep things confidential.”

The 30-year-old,though,is all praise for present coach Gary Kirsten,who he says has done great work with the team. “He is the best coach I have ever seen. He doesn’t force things on you. His basic premise is: You all are international cricketers and you know how to succeed and how important it is to succeed. So I won’t thrust myself on you. But whenever you need me,for practice,throwing balls,sharing ideas,worries,I am always there. During Test matches,there are days when he doesn’t force you to follow a similar routine in warm-ups. If he senses a free day for the players,he allows them to take it easy. When an intense day is ahead,we all come together to bring the required intensity,” he says.

Ganguly’s contribution

Sehwag also acknowledges Sourav Ganguly’s role in shaping his international career and points out striking similarities with MS Dhoni. “A lot of youngsters,including me,came to the fore under Dada. Remember,when he took over,world cricket was reeling under the impact of match-fixing. He always backed us. For instance,when I was named Man of the Match against Australia early in my career,he assured me that I would play in at least the next 30 matches. Even when he promoted me as an opener,he told me to bat without worry as he wouldn’t touch me for the next 30-35 games.

“Dhoni,in many ways,is doing what Ganguly used to do. He is also aggressive. But he also knows how to be defensive to save a game. The thing with Dhoni is that he gives all of us a lot of space. He doesn’t want to control. The optional practice rule has really gained ground under him. Now,it’s not mandatory to turn up for practice every day. There is so much of travelling,so many matches. He knows the importance of rest and allows everyone their own recovery period,” he says.

Enjoying a dream run after a sudden call-up to the Australian touring party,Sehwag admits that the Adelaide Test hundred revived his international career. “I was determined to spend time at the crease. In the first two hours on the final day,I made only 27 runs. In the afternoon,Tendulkar kept telling me that we had to keep going,or the Australians could use the final 30-35 overs to chase down the target. It was very,very special.”

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