Sachin did not tell selectors what he wanted as skipper: Kapil

"Sachin couldn't indicate with the selectors 'I want these boys in my team'. The difficult part was he was composed (sic) to himself totally. And we used to say Sachin you should go and ask," the former all-rounder said during a panel discussion on leadership here last night.

"But he felt 'I can't ask them, they should know'. When you are a leader, you have to go to the senior management and say you need this team," Kapil said.

Sachin led India in 25 Tests winning four and losing nine, including a 3-0 whitewash in Australia in 1999 and a 2-0 defeat to South Africa at home soon after that.

Of the 73 ODIs in which he led the side, India won only 23 and lost 42, while one ended in a tie and six others ended in no result (due to rain, etc).

Kapil was the coach of the Indian side when the batting maestro was reappointed the skipper of the Indian team in 1999 for a second stint.

The country's lone World Cup winning captain also said he felt he himself was too young to lead the team, containing many senior players, when he was appointed the skipper at the age of 23, and Sunil Gavaskar was the right person.

"When I became the captain there were seven cricketers who were like grandfathers (in terms of stature). Players like Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Syed Kirmani. You look at them and idolise them. You don't know how to react. It takes time to learn. I was innocent and that helped me. I did not know how to react."

"I came from a small town. I couldn't manage to talk to them properly. They felt I was either naive or arrogant. But I had passion. When I look back, I feel Sunil Gavaskar should have been the captain. He was educated, he was smart and could handle the team better.

"But it was the divide and rule policy of the Cricket Board which wasn't his way. It went my way. I wasn't afraid of anyone. But at this moment, I still believe that Gavaskar was the right choice. But God was on my side.

"But when they removed me (as captain) in '85, I thought they were wrong again. At that time I was mature. But perhaps they didn't want a mature person."

Kapil said he tried to ensure that while leading the squad, he did not hurt the sentiments of any of the seniors, by showing his respect for them off the field.

"Had there been no seniors like Gavaskar, Amarnath and Kirmani, it would have been easy. I could have been ruthless. When you have so many seniors around you, its difficult. Look at Dhoni, he must be feeling uneasy. How to tell Kumble what to do? how to tell Sachin?

"In the evenings, I used to go and tell them sorry Sunnybhai if have screamed at you. Sorry Jimmybhai -- if it was Mohinder Amarnath -- if I have annoyed you on the field. Off the field I would offer chair to them. That was my policy to keep them happy off the field. Otherwise you can't lead a team," he added.

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