Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth January 11, 2012

Reports of rift in team are 'rubbish' - Sehwag


Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid have denied media reports of a rift in the Indian team over MS Dhoni's leadership and a lack of unity when under pressure. Reports suggested the team was split over Dhoni's captaincy style and even suggested that one group wanted Sehwag, the vice-captain, to take charge.

The Indian team is under gag orders that bar the players from speaking to the press outside the designated media interactions but Sehwag responded directly to the allegations of his own role, which appeared in Australian papers on Tuesday.

''When teams start losing then these kind of things come, but there is nothing true in that," Sehwag told the Age. "We are playing as a team, and we are fine. I can't talk about anything else because there are rules, but you asked me about this and I can say it is rubbish. We are a unit, and we are carrying on for the next Test.''

Dravid, who spoke at Wednesday's press conference, echoed the sentiment. "When you are down 2-0, all these things happen," he said. "Suddenly there's all sort of stuff floating around. There is absolutely no truth to any of these things. Like I said, the spirit in the team is pretty good."

Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain, also said before the Sydney Test that he felt Dhoni was not getting the on-field backing of his senior players. "Captains need help because they are under pressure every time," he said on NDTV. "They need a vice-captain or a senior player who is going to come up at regular intervals and say, look, maybe try something different. And I don't think Dhoni is getting that ... Everybody is in their own cocoon, and that's where Dhoni needs a lot more interaction from the group itself."

More recent was Brad Haddin's observation that the Indian players "can turn on each other". When Haddin's team-mate and former captain Ricky Ponting was asked on Tuesday if he had actually seen anything on the field that might have led Haddin to feel that way, he said: "I haven't seen that as such. And I haven't really been looking for it. Whenever I have been batting, I have been trying to get myself into a zone, and try to focus on the next ball I have to face. Once again, I don't think any of us has worried or focussed too much about what the Indian team has been doing."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    ok... here is what I think of the present Indian side... Bunch of players playing as a team hell bent on losing.

    We have players given A rated contracts and these players have 50,000 odd runs between them and end up scoring 160 runs. Sehwag says there is no rift and the spirit, "of losing", is good according to Dravid. WOW... if this is the spirit then we might as well have them playing IPL and have the IPL players play for the country. At least we have fresh talent and if they lose I dont mind.

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Laximan and dhoni should drop!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tom on January 14, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Everyone is talking about India's batting but Its India's bowling which is making Australia as a great batting side which is not right. Australia has a very moderate type of batting lineup which England fully exploited in the last Ashes series.

  • A on January 14, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    the series is over. a loss. for the last match pull this hyped up bunch of failures back home. send out a Ranji team or something. what can be worse than 161 all out. at least they will get some experience. and maybe embarrass this bunch of bumbling players if they get a 100 or go over 200 in the first innings.

  • Srinivas on January 14, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    @Manish Pole, very well said. Sehwag is no opener. He was made to open, thanks to Ganguly. Drop Kohli and bring in Rohit as opener. That's all. Next, Dhoni should be dropped from Test matches. Dinesh Karthik takes his place. Dinesh Karthik can open as well if Rohit isn't so suitable for opening. Problems solved.

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    one thing i feel strong about is .. we have a collective team work to "collectively , consistently collapse" .. it is just an irony that all 11 players have a bad luck at the same time and fail completely... i guess it is kudos for "collective collapse team" ...Good Luck Team India..

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Get the 2nd string of batsmen and bowlers playing in England, SA and Aus on India 'A' tours so they are all ready by Dec 2012 when India tours SA and the foreign tours begin. In India, for tests my team would be: 1) Jaffer/Gambhir 2) Ashwin 3) Dravid 4) Tendulkar 5) Sehwag 6) Laxman 7) Dhoni 8) Harbhajan 9) Zaheer 10) Ishant/ Yadav 11) Ojha

    Whenever one of the batsmen are injured give Rohit Sharma/ Pujara/ Yuvraj the slot. And Irfan Pathan/ Praveen Kumar as the back-up bowlers Dravid, Tendulkar/ Laxman/ Zaheer should all retire after the Aus in India series in Mar 2013.

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    I do not agree with this 'build a team for the future' argument in sport! You should try to WIN and win NOW; and so use the best players at your disposal. Too often we build for the future and then they lose now and later too. So I would not recommend any changes to the team; as after this tour (hopefully they salvage something); India will play Test ONLY in the subcontinent till Dec 2013. With ENG and AUS coming for 4 test each it's a great chance to plot a reversal and beat them at home. The only change I'd like is for Sehwag to drop down the order. He was made an opener b'coz the middle-order was packed; but he will be murderous at No. 5. No point risking him to the new ball. He can kill the spinners at no 5, and if he's set before the 2nd new ball - Carnage!! When Tendulkar retires; he should get No 4. With the pitches in India becoming flat; I think we'll need 3 spinners to get 20 wickets; with Ashwin as all-rounder. And the likes of Rohit, Kohli, Yuvraj, Pujara should play County

  • mark on January 13, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    The Indian team are a bunch of losers. With the exception of Dravid and Tendulkar they are a bunch of overpaid under-achievers who, time and again, let down an adoring public of 1billion plus people. As an Indian living in Australia, I am ashamed; ashamed because these bunch of individuals are as lazy as they are talented, sadly they cannot play as a team. Shame on you, Team India, you have lost me as an ardent one-eyed supporter after 40 years of following you to nowhere. I expect you to be beaten by an innings and 300+ runs this time. Shame

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    This news /press report from Sehwag had many more comments than96 posted so far ,I think.if there is any reason for not publishing it is OK. Otherwise, cricinfo may please do the needful in the matter SreedharanMundanat

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