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January 30, 2007
Greg Chappell has reiterated that his face-off with Sourav Ganguly was never a battle between two personalitiesâ but merely a cricketing issue that was blown out of proportionâ. Chappell also said that he considered Ganguly's comeback as one of his "success storiesâ, adding that the time spent away from international cricket had done him good.
"I look at it as one of my success stories,â Chappell said in an interview to The Hindu. "He has resurrected his batting and could play another three years for India, which is fantastic. The only way he could address certain issues was to spend some time away reassessing all of his goals and ambitions. Somebody had to tell him that.â
"It was never Chappell v Ganguly,â he continued. "It was never a battle between two personalities. I only look at cricketing issues. How the others see it is their choice. The whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. If the same situation arose, I would have the same view on it. It was about somebody needing to improve to offer 100% to the Indian team. Ganguly has come back extremely well and all credit to him. Zaheer Khan too faced similar issues and has responded well. Sometimes the only way you can enforce non-negotiable issues is through selection. But right now I have nothing but praise for Ganguly and Zaheer.â
Chappell believed that Virender Sehwag too would benefit from the current forced break, after having been dropped from the side, while expressing his faith in him. "Having some time away from the team might help him clear his head, freshen him up and help him come back with a much clearer focus,â he said. "We have had many conversations and we intend having several more conversations in the future. Like in all players, the mind sometimes gets confused. The time away will help him reassess himself what he wants to achieve and whether he has the passion to come back and play for India. I have no doubt he will.â
Sehwag and Irfan Pathan, he felt, could emerge stronger from their current loss of form. "India doesn't have the sole possession of players who have bad days,â he said. "The level of expectation is so high that sometimes the perspective is lost.â
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A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg