Ganguly used to panic a lot: Chappell

Ganguly used to panic a lot: Chappell

There was “no bigger panicker” than Ganguly, writes Chappell about the elegant left-hander who is till now India’s most successful captain.

Chappell acknowledges that Ganguly’s support was one of the reasons he got the coach’s job in 2005 but states that the Indian’s idea probably was ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’.

“He expected I would be so grateful to him for getting me the job that I’d become his henchman in his battle to remain captain. I, on the other hand, took on a job with the primary responsibility to Indian cricket and the Indian people,” Chappell says in the book ‘Fierce Focus’.

During his three-year tenure as coach, Chappell was accused of dividing the team, a charge he virtually confirms.

Chappell said such was the hierarchy in the team that youngsters were petrified of speaking before a senior such as Sachin Tendulkar in the team meetings.

The former Australian captain said he began to separate team meetings into three groups -- senior, intermediate and junior -- so that he could hear their thoughts, which were later broken down by current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who had begun to gain in confidence and assert his leadership at that time.

“The real ray of hope for the Indian team was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the most impressive young cricketers I’d ever worked with. He was smart, and able to read the game as perceptively as the best leaders,” Chappell wrote.