India news June 13, 2011

Chappell's tenure worst phase of my career - Zaheer

ESPNcricinfo staff
198

In a revealing insight into one of the most tumultuous periods in Indian cricket, Zaheer Khan has said the tenure of Greg Chappell as India coach was the most disappointing phase of his decade-long career. Zaheer said he was unable to perform during that time as he was constantly worrying about whether or not Chappell wanted him - along with several other senior players - in the team.

"It was as if you've been framed. It was like 'we don't want you in the team. It's not about performance, we don't like your attitude, you're stopping the growth of cricket in the Indian team'. I felt it personally because I was dropped straight after the Sri Lanka tour, even though I had not performed badly," Zaheer said on NDTV's Walk the Talk show.

"I was fortunate enough to go to South Africa to represent the Asia XI [in the Afro-Asia Cup]. I got about nine wickets and I was recalled for the next series. In that phase it was always a struggle. When you're fighting within the team, when you have a war to fight in your own camp, it is always difficult to win."

Chappell took over as India coach in May 2005 but his tenure - characterised by his zeal to draft in young players - was plagued by serious differences between him and senior players, including Sachin Tendulkar, in the Indian team. He also had a public spat with the then captain, Sourav Ganguly, who was dropped and later recalled. At the end of his tenure, following India's early exit from the 2007 World Cup, he decided not to seek an extension of his contract.

In contrast, Gary Kirsten's time with the Indian team was "amazing", Zaheer said. "He has given everyone their space. He's understood the Indian culture and how we do things. He's taken that step of coming closer to us rather than dictating. He was our friend, not a coach."

Zaheer felt the only positive to come out of Chappell's tenure was the inclusion of youngsters in the team. But sacrificing experienced players was not the only way to give opportunities to youth, Zaheer felt. "A youngster coming in is a good sign but not at the cost of a cricketer who is doing his bit."

The county stint with Worcestershire came at the right moment for him, said Zaheer, when he was not feeling confident about his game. The time he spent playing away from the Indian set-up meant he started to enjoy cricket again. He signed up with Worcestershire for the 2006 county season and finished as the highest wicket-taker in Division Two of the County Championship, taking 78 wickets at 29.07.

"Worcester taught me the reason I'm playing this game. Sometimes when you play at the highest level, especially in India, the whole country is so passionate about the game, so whether you do well or do badly it affects you in many ways. So when I went to Worcester, it was just me playing cricket.

"I was just enjoying cricket and not thinking about other pressures, about the pressure of performance. Everything was falling into place. I was taking wickets. Even though I was not in the Indian side, I was actually happy."

A rejuvenated Zaheer has led the Indian attack since his Worcestershire stint, playing a crucial role in India's ascent to the top of the Test rankings. The icing has been the 2011 World Cup triumph, in which Zaheer was the tournament's joint-highest wicket-taker with Shahid Afridi, with 21 wickets. In the World Cup final, he bowled three consecutive maidens at the start of the innings, a contrast to his nervous display against Australia in the final of the 2003 edition.

"It was as if you've been framed. It was like 'we don't want you in the team. It's not about performance, we don't like your attitude, you're stopping the growth of cricket in the Indian team.'"
Zaheer Khan on Greg Chappell's tenure as India coach

Zaheer said he was young at that time, and got carried away with emotion. "I was only a couple of years into international cricket; the World cup journey itself was something special. That time my thing was to bowl quick. I wanted to be aggressive. It was a World Cup final; there were a lot of emotions. As soon as the national anthem finished, there was this rush of young blood. I wanted to do really well, wanted to just blast the Australians apart.

"This World Cup I was aware of the fact that there will be a lot of emotions, I have to deal with it. I have to maintain my calm and focus on the process. I was telling myself just go there and bowl."

Zaheer has sharpened his skills over the years, also becoming a mentor to the younger bowlers in the side. "You cannot run through a side [in the subcontinent]. You need to be patient, you need to understand when to go for the kill."

"Early in my career, I used to get really tired in the second innings of a Test. That's where the fun is. I was not able to deal with that pre-Worcester.

"You can't waste all your energy in the first innings or when a partnership is happening. You need to work on your field placements and know in your mind that the moment you get a wicket, you can go for another one. If you can get two wickets quickly that's going to change the complexion of the game."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • williamgrey on June 16, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Too much importance is being given to Zaheer's first three overs in the world cup finals. I think people are forgetting the last over that Zaheer Bowled in the world cup final. He actually bettered his run leaking ability by giving away 18 runs compared to 15 in 2003 finals.

    No doubt Zaheer is probably the most improved bowler in World Cricket in the last 4 years or so but he is still quite fragile mentally...how he fell apart in IPL 2011 everytime he was attacked.

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on June 16, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    GREG CHAPPEL CAME TO INDIA WITH RIGHT INTENTIONS......BUT WITH WRONG ATTITUDE.....HIS VISION WAS RIGHT...HE EMPHASIZED MORE ON FITNESS & YOUTH....HE WANTED RESULTS TO BE THE SOLE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION..... BUT AS COACH, HE CAME WITH NEGATIVE TRAITS OF STUBBORNNESS & CONFRONTATION....HE FORGOT THAT HE WAS NO LONGER THE STAR PLAYER & HAS LONG RETIRED......THE CURRENT PLAYERS WERE THE STAR.....UNLIKE HIM, GARY KIRSTEN ALWAYS CHOOSE TO REMAIN IN BACKGROUND WITH A HELPER & ADVISER ATTITUDE.....KIRSTEN WAS FIRM BUT HUMBLE...HE LET THE PLAYERS HOG THE LIMELIGHT....HE MADE THEM WORK HARD...BUT WORKED HARDER WITHOUT MAKING A FUSS......BUT LET US NOT FORGET GREG CHAPPEL'S CONTRIBUTION...HE BUSTED THE INFLATED EGOS OF THE GANGULYS, TENDULKARS, ZAHEERS, HARBHAJANS, YUVRAJS...& MADE THEM WORK HARDER FOR THEIR PLACE & THEIR FITNESS....AFTER CHAPPEL'S EGO BUSTING ALL THESE PLAYERS RENEWED & REFRESHED THEMSELVES.....HE GAVE CONFIDENCE TO DHONIS & RAINAS.....

  • L4zybugg3r on June 16, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    At least some of the people that comment here are saying that Greg Chappell's influence might not have been so bad. I mean yes he probably needed to change his style to appeal to Indian players but I'm sure the players didn't try to bridge that gap either. I mean he was trying to improve things like fielding and general performance - seems to me what you want in a coach. The clincher for me was Zaheer was talking about Kirsten and said he was a friend not a coach when comparing him to Greg Chappell - I laughed so hard as I was under the impression that they were both supposed to be coaches not friends. I'm sure Zaheer has plenty of friends to support but he needs to be able to take constructive criticism from a coach in order to improve. I know one thing I'd much prefer to have Greg Chappell as the coach to the Aus current one - Nielsen. Oh and about Aus selections, they've been making terrible decisions for 4 and half years - a long time before Greg Chappell came back to Aus.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 16, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    The one who criticizing ZAK must learn that he gone thru thier batting line ups at least once. Not only in ODIs but also in Tests. He is unstoppable after his comeback. Especially with the fact that he played most of the matches in batting friendly conditions! Check the status and argue.

  • on June 16, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    @Karn Mamgain I am glad I amused you with my Jokes. Here is more, enjoy. You already posted something I wanted to post after your response to my post. You mentioned the transition of indian ODI. I think Chappel played a significant role in that initiating the thinking process. You've also come up with Sachin's statistics in the recent world cup. I don't know what is your point. But, Tendulkar is not a factor in the team anymore. Even Tendulkar would agree with that. That is why he has been taking days off of cricket at his will for the past few years. This is purely supported by public opinion. So the notion of Tendulkar is proud of playing for the country is out of the question. He enjoys the game, that is why he still plays. Chappel didn't like anyone in the dressing room who thinks he is above the Team. That is why he was so critical about the attitude, let alone performance. That is how professional players should be. It doesn't really fit into traditional Indian mindset.

  • on June 15, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    @karn mamgain Its not comparing Dravid's ODI record with Sachin's, it is the way dravid got axed. It was in 2007 if you see even sachin was not quite at best, so the best way to divert the attention is by axing the Great Dravid.

  • maddy20 on June 15, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor When you time the ball as sweetly as Laxman and most importantly have a cool head that can dig you outta impossible situations, who cares about running between the wickets? For starters count the number of matches we would have lost if not for him in the last 5 years and you will know what I mean. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are one of their kind.

  • VettiPayyan on June 15, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Altho I have never seen logic in what this user called 'popcorn' ever wrote here, adn neither have I ever felt the necessity to even consider replying to him,

    I do so.. kudos 'mate'.. u made me reply u finally.. some Aussie power!

    We all know the 'young' 'talented' performers u guys have and who 'earned' their baggy green

    Clarke - young forever player retained adamently in team just becuase he was identified as captian ages back . chuckle not even half as talented as Ricky

    Hauritz - average bowler

    Steven smith - over-hyped leggie

    cameron white - again another hyped slogger

    Hope Greggy will add a few more picks to that... Waiting for u to travel abroad :-)

  • vpk23 on June 15, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    INDIAN PLAYERS ARE NOT CHAPPALS...GREAT COMMENT

  • Bilingualbigfoot on June 15, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    This article "Chappell's tenure worst phase of my career" could have easily been this title " Inclusion of Youngsters had shaken the Senior Players" had that point been highlighted in the beginning. This article would have been on a different note. Zaheer has clearly admitted that inclusion of youngsters had terribly shaken the senior players which threw them out of their comfort zone. Appreciate Zak for coming out openly. Is Zak's dissapointing phase is confined to Greg or does it include Selectors as well , we may never know. The same way , was Yuvi 's selction's confined to Kirsten or the Present selectectors, we may never know.

  • williamgrey on June 16, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Too much importance is being given to Zaheer's first three overs in the world cup finals. I think people are forgetting the last over that Zaheer Bowled in the world cup final. He actually bettered his run leaking ability by giving away 18 runs compared to 15 in 2003 finals.

    No doubt Zaheer is probably the most improved bowler in World Cricket in the last 4 years or so but he is still quite fragile mentally...how he fell apart in IPL 2011 everytime he was attacked.

  • UNIVERSAL_CRICKETER on June 16, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    GREG CHAPPEL CAME TO INDIA WITH RIGHT INTENTIONS......BUT WITH WRONG ATTITUDE.....HIS VISION WAS RIGHT...HE EMPHASIZED MORE ON FITNESS & YOUTH....HE WANTED RESULTS TO BE THE SOLE CRITERIA FOR SELECTION..... BUT AS COACH, HE CAME WITH NEGATIVE TRAITS OF STUBBORNNESS & CONFRONTATION....HE FORGOT THAT HE WAS NO LONGER THE STAR PLAYER & HAS LONG RETIRED......THE CURRENT PLAYERS WERE THE STAR.....UNLIKE HIM, GARY KIRSTEN ALWAYS CHOOSE TO REMAIN IN BACKGROUND WITH A HELPER & ADVISER ATTITUDE.....KIRSTEN WAS FIRM BUT HUMBLE...HE LET THE PLAYERS HOG THE LIMELIGHT....HE MADE THEM WORK HARD...BUT WORKED HARDER WITHOUT MAKING A FUSS......BUT LET US NOT FORGET GREG CHAPPEL'S CONTRIBUTION...HE BUSTED THE INFLATED EGOS OF THE GANGULYS, TENDULKARS, ZAHEERS, HARBHAJANS, YUVRAJS...& MADE THEM WORK HARDER FOR THEIR PLACE & THEIR FITNESS....AFTER CHAPPEL'S EGO BUSTING ALL THESE PLAYERS RENEWED & REFRESHED THEMSELVES.....HE GAVE CONFIDENCE TO DHONIS & RAINAS.....

  • L4zybugg3r on June 16, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    At least some of the people that comment here are saying that Greg Chappell's influence might not have been so bad. I mean yes he probably needed to change his style to appeal to Indian players but I'm sure the players didn't try to bridge that gap either. I mean he was trying to improve things like fielding and general performance - seems to me what you want in a coach. The clincher for me was Zaheer was talking about Kirsten and said he was a friend not a coach when comparing him to Greg Chappell - I laughed so hard as I was under the impression that they were both supposed to be coaches not friends. I'm sure Zaheer has plenty of friends to support but he needs to be able to take constructive criticism from a coach in order to improve. I know one thing I'd much prefer to have Greg Chappell as the coach to the Aus current one - Nielsen. Oh and about Aus selections, they've been making terrible decisions for 4 and half years - a long time before Greg Chappell came back to Aus.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 16, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    The one who criticizing ZAK must learn that he gone thru thier batting line ups at least once. Not only in ODIs but also in Tests. He is unstoppable after his comeback. Especially with the fact that he played most of the matches in batting friendly conditions! Check the status and argue.

  • on June 16, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    @Karn Mamgain I am glad I amused you with my Jokes. Here is more, enjoy. You already posted something I wanted to post after your response to my post. You mentioned the transition of indian ODI. I think Chappel played a significant role in that initiating the thinking process. You've also come up with Sachin's statistics in the recent world cup. I don't know what is your point. But, Tendulkar is not a factor in the team anymore. Even Tendulkar would agree with that. That is why he has been taking days off of cricket at his will for the past few years. This is purely supported by public opinion. So the notion of Tendulkar is proud of playing for the country is out of the question. He enjoys the game, that is why he still plays. Chappel didn't like anyone in the dressing room who thinks he is above the Team. That is why he was so critical about the attitude, let alone performance. That is how professional players should be. It doesn't really fit into traditional Indian mindset.

  • on June 15, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    @karn mamgain Its not comparing Dravid's ODI record with Sachin's, it is the way dravid got axed. It was in 2007 if you see even sachin was not quite at best, so the best way to divert the attention is by axing the Great Dravid.

  • maddy20 on June 15, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor When you time the ball as sweetly as Laxman and most importantly have a cool head that can dig you outta impossible situations, who cares about running between the wickets? For starters count the number of matches we would have lost if not for him in the last 5 years and you will know what I mean. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are one of their kind.

  • VettiPayyan on June 15, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Altho I have never seen logic in what this user called 'popcorn' ever wrote here, adn neither have I ever felt the necessity to even consider replying to him,

    I do so.. kudos 'mate'.. u made me reply u finally.. some Aussie power!

    We all know the 'young' 'talented' performers u guys have and who 'earned' their baggy green

    Clarke - young forever player retained adamently in team just becuase he was identified as captian ages back . chuckle not even half as talented as Ricky

    Hauritz - average bowler

    Steven smith - over-hyped leggie

    cameron white - again another hyped slogger

    Hope Greggy will add a few more picks to that... Waiting for u to travel abroad :-)

  • vpk23 on June 15, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    INDIAN PLAYERS ARE NOT CHAPPALS...GREAT COMMENT

  • Bilingualbigfoot on June 15, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    This article "Chappell's tenure worst phase of my career" could have easily been this title " Inclusion of Youngsters had shaken the Senior Players" had that point been highlighted in the beginning. This article would have been on a different note. Zaheer has clearly admitted that inclusion of youngsters had terribly shaken the senior players which threw them out of their comfort zone. Appreciate Zak for coming out openly. Is Zak's dissapointing phase is confined to Greg or does it include Selectors as well , we may never know. The same way , was Yuvi 's selction's confined to Kirsten or the Present selectectors, we may never know.

  • BoonBoom on June 15, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    @vparisa... most wickets in a career is just an statistical figure.... you also need to look at the number of test matches played by these highest wicket takers... Important factors are bowling average, wickets/test and strike rate. Unfortunately, on the basis of these factors all the three names you mentioned go off the list. Kapil has more wickets than some all time greats like Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan, Denniss Lillee, Michael Holding or Trueman? If course that doesnt make Kapil better thanh any of these greats. As I said earlier, you guys must not try to put Indians on top of every list. You must acept there are players from other teams that are better and there is no harm accepting the fact.

  • on June 15, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    @Vaisakh Krishnadas

    First time I have seen someone actually giving an exact opinion as me. I think zak should be indebted to Chappel. If he did not push him out and if zak din go to worcester, he would not be what he is today. So is the case with each and every player @ that time. Dare I say even Tendulkar. One needs to understand where Chappel comes from, I think we indians are a lot more sensitive to some situations which Mr. Chappel never bothered to understand and tone down a bit. All in all I totally agree with you comments.

  • on June 15, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    nLet me tell you all where coach Chappell missed a trick or two. 1. Gauti's batting in the WC summed up Kirsten's way/style of coaching perfectly. After playing the finals knock, Gauti gave the best tribute to Kirsten by saying "I feel I can smash the wall with my head" such was his confidence levels (Search for Gambir's quotes in cricinfo). Even though he got out to Ajmal, Swann by coming down the track he never stopped doing that against spinners. It just goes to show Kirsten backed everyone's strenghts instead of telling them how not to play. That support and backing is what Chappell lacks. What's the profanity behind him telling every cricketing legend who is above 35 to retire? If experience is worth nothing Chappel himself should retire for a youngster. The golden Australian team's successful coach is John Buchanan, who never stopped believing in his team. Whenever Aussies lost by a good margin, he used to write letters to everyone in the team to REMIND them what they are worth.

  • VettiPayyan on June 15, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    I think we can predict Aussies are going to feel the heat with Greg.

    Greg has already started his stupid dictatorship by dropping Simon Katich who has been the unsung hero for them in lot of test matches. This is what happens to some ppl in cricket, when team starts losing they get dropped inspite of doing reasonably well than others. Eg: Laxman during his early days, Ganguly, Badri in 1 test match etc etc.

    How i wish Greg had taken over the Aus team during 2003 .. We cud have seen Gilly, Warne, Hayden, and all the other 30 + dropped and India wud have become World champions long time back.. He he!

  • VettiPayyan on June 15, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Of all the stuff spoken by Zak in his intereview, predictable to see media and fans picking the 1 min where he spoke of Greg :-)

    To all ppl who start holding flag for Greg, you all need to understand one thing. A sport team is not a bunch of people whom you give rules and they blindly follow.

    Before talking of current Indian team, even if each one of us were in that situation we wud behave exactly the same way :)

    Self-respect is primary for us and should be.

    He tried closing a circular mouthed bottle with a square lid.. ouch!

    Some here say that greg was right by banishing zak away so that he can learn a rude lesson in life and come back strong.. Looks like a movie script but not true :)

    People cant be changed overnite and that too with force. You cant even do that to a 10 yr old kid nowadays

    So a coach should know when to be a friend and when to be a boss. Flexibility should be his main strength.

    I KNOW ONE THING GARY DID, HE LET EVERYONE BE THEMSELVES.

    MISS U GARY SOB! :-(

  • thenoostar on June 15, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    He has become a canny bowler but he is no Steyn. I admire his bowling after the jelly bean incident.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on June 15, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    "Laxman barely manages to hold his place What a joke... http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/517791.html along with how he only manges to score the runs when the rest fails.." ------- True. Laxman is a liability as is any player who has to be hidden in the field for his lack of fielding ability. His running between the wickets is also poor. Both he and Dravid run as if they run on a tread mill. Laxman's saving grace is his temperament to fight it out in the 3rd / 4th innings when people like Sehwag and Sachin go weak-minded. I think it is time to bring in Rohit and give him the confidence of being a regular Test member even though Pujara seems to have a better temperament and shot selection than Rohit whose body language sucks! These are things that a coach need to speak up on instead of treading soflty for wounding the sportsman's egos. Indians have long followed the "we are like this only" and "play the natural game" rountine instead of showing will to improve!:P

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on June 15, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    I find Zaheer's comments quite interesting. Zaheer himslef is certainly NOT a class player by any standard. Look at his records and they will tell you he is just ordinary like any indian fast bowlers. = = = = = = You got to be joking. Best joke so far

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on June 15, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    @Sweetspot - Super write up. Loved your words

  • on June 15, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Over-zealousness and using half mind are the two most important follies of chappel. And I almost forgot the most important one, i.e. humanity and respect towards players.Success could never be built upon rotten hearts and dead emotions.

  • on June 15, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    I think Zak and Average cricket fan has a lot to thank Chappel for!. The cricketers at that time was becoming so complacent. They were at such a comfort zone that playin to their full potential or keeping up their fitness was the last thing they bothered about. Some one had to show them the boot and Chappel did exactly that. May be he could've been more patient. But the effect and result was overwhelming. winning 16 ODI's Chasing on the throat was no mean achievement. For me Chappel's failed when he offended lara, and a wounded Lara trashed india in that series and the resulting pressure made him include Ganguly back in the squad. I think Ganguly torpedoed that worldcup campaigne.His 2nd mistake was that in trying to make a fast bowling allrounder he finished our most promising cricketer - Irfan Pathan!

  • giri540 on June 15, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    I am a huge fan of Ganguly and I accept that he was totally out of form during the days he was pushed out of the team. But he gave a wonderful comeback int he westindies tour of india and of the srilanka and pakistan matches. He was the man of the series for west indies tour. But still he was pushed off by the selection commity. Why should that happen? If kristen was there at that time he wont have allowed

  • rockz.andy on June 15, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Laxman barely manages to hold his place What a joke... http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/517791.html along with how he only manges to score the runs when the rest fails..india haven't played much test cricket india won the matches infact those are the great wins with contribution from senior players.think before you talk

  • ssenthil on June 15, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    I hope Katich read this Article and Find a way as Zak Did. Zak after 2007 is nothing short of Sensational. Stats Proves that he is exceptional after 2007. I just read the Article Published during his stint with Worcestershire where many write of Zak including some of his teammates as well. But he overcomes against all the odds and now he became the Current Best Fast Bowler around though Dale is All time best but after 2007 if u compare Zak is no short of Dale stats in tests while Zak miles ahead in ODI, so Zak is Current Best Fast bowler. Well Done Zak, I m proud of you.

  • Notredam on June 15, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Dhoni..captaincy record of 14:3 in tests..simply breathtaking..way above all the indian captains...and second best start ever in world cricket wit 4:66 w/L ratio...what a legend..great salute ,,,hail the emperor..

  • Jim1207 on June 15, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Nathan McGrath: You can have 3 batsmen above the age of 35 in Aussie team and still make sure the other 3 young batsmen could hold the fort when the elder 3 retire. It's not rocket science. It's what India has built over the years - Sachin, Laxman and Dravid probably would retire together and there are Gambhir and Sehwag groomed to hold the fort when the big three retire. Also, in remaining positions and during injury and rest, India is giving enough chances to youngsters to prove their worth - example this WI series. That's the way a side needs to be groomed - by developing a formidable team with young talent learning from elders. Not by axing Katich, in my opinion. What has Ponting done to warrant a higher esteem than Katich? Ponting is the one in comfort zone knowing that selectors are unwilling to drop him.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on June 15, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    With the bench strength gradually increasing and with the onset of IPL, the "senior" Indian batsmen realised that they can't take their place for granted. Ganguly was given the boot. Dravid was retained only for Tests and Laxman barely manages to hold his place. Raina and Munaf who were kept in the wilderness came back into the side despite the Indian clique of seniors and ex-cricketers wanting to keep them out..under various pretexts. With Raina, Kohli, Rohit coming in the pressure mounted on guys like Yuvraj to tone up and perform. Rohit himself had to shed weight. Indian public opinion was becoming discerning. Fielding ability and inability shone through at the IPL. Warne straightened out Munaf's attitude at the IPL. Ashwin, Misra and a few others keep the pressure up on Bhajji. Kumble, Ganguly Dravid and Laxman going out of ODIs sharpened the Indian fielding unit. Sachin was called "grandfather" in the dressing room. So he had to be fit and perform! Kirsten was plain lucky! :P

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 15, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    ZAK is a an answer to the critics who is crying about lack of quality fast bowlers from India. As Dhoni said - we do not have any super fast bowlers of 150 KMPH , but we have excellent bowlers who can win matches for India. That's enough. Thanks ZAK for being team India's dependable bowler.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on June 15, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Zaheer in the years under discussion had put on weight. He was short on stamina and that he couldn't / wouldn't do the necessary laps around the field in practice. Zaheer used to jump high during delivery of the ball while bowling. That was his trademark. Because he had put on weight he could no longer do that. He had become increasingly ineffective ever since the WC in South Africa and the Aussi series thereafter. No wonder Greg and all others could see where he was going. I'm not surprised Greg pulled him up. I would have done the same. Sachin too was going into a hole in the 40s and 90s and that was affecting the entire team. Greg called a spade a spade. Some of these Indian players are touchy about being told to improve. Players were sloppy on the field and running between the wickets. The layoff and the Eng stint did Zaheer good. He reduced his weight and learnt to bowl more accurately. He became better at his craft. Zaheer needs to acknowledge all this when he talks of Greg.

  • on June 15, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    What Zaheer uttered about Chappell may be partially true. But what was his performance at that time. He was not at his best until he returned from his stint at Worcester where the conditions helped him a lot and instilled confidence in him to perform to his best.

  • Jim1207 on June 15, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    caasi1, Let us take your point of view. As of now, Ponting has been scoring an average under 45 in test cricket since Jan 2007 and Kaitch has been scoring at an average of above 50 in test cricket since his comeback in last 3 years. So, as per Greg's philosophy you mention, the elder player who is not playing well and is enjoying the comfort zone must be removed from the team. See the proof what Greg has done now - Katich dropped and Ponting is allowed to play. Why was Ganguly, Zaheer,etc., were sacked then but now Ponting has been treated as an untouchable highness. None of the philosophy Greg's supporters say as which helped Indian team to success and which Gary "exploited" does not make any sense at all. Greg is just a wrong person to be there in any position involved with cricket other than being a good batsman.

  • Jim1207 on June 15, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    SettingSun, you are missing everything. The only people who believe that Ganguly was a divisive figure in the team are those who read tabloids and believe those rumors are the absolute truths in the world. If any one asks Indian players who played with Ganguly, you would never see anyone telling him as a divisive personality but contrasting enough he was the person who injected youthful rush into the team.Many people also get frustrated by Ganguly's fragile fitness and weak fielding, but that's the way his body is. He is still one of the best catchers of the ball Indian cricket ever produced. Many people say Greg Chappell introduced Dhoni, that was a joke. It was Ganguly and Ravi Shastri who recommended Dhoni to be debuted in international cricket ASAP. Greg did not "discover" any youth talent, he used the available youth talent to promote his plan of removing old and aging players from the side. Greg would never find youth talent himself like Suresh Raina, Dhoni, etc.,. Far from that.

  • on June 15, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    At last the cat is out of the box. Good for Zaheer and good for Indian cricket

  • on June 15, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    @Santosh Pidaparti - Yes, I'm a huge fan of Dravid, but I don't think he's the greatest cricketer India has ever produced. During the 2003-2006ish period, he was unarguably the best and the most dependable Indian batsman - in fact, only second to Ricky Ponting in the World. In ODI, seriously? Are you comparing Sachin and Dravid? That's an absurd comparison. Tendulkar, even in the most recently concluded World Cup scored 484 runs @ 54 with a S/R of 93 (even better than Dilshan's). I believe Dravid still has plenty to contribute in tests - not just runs, but experience and mentorship for the younger players like Kohli, Pujara, etc. - but it was the correct time to replace him in the ODIs. India's transition in ODIs was absolutely brilliant. Even if Tendulkar retires tomorrow, India would still have a VERY strong team, because previous players like Dravid and Ganguly were adequately replaced ...

  • landl47 on June 15, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Zaheer has become an outstanding bowler, through developing his skills and his control. The same is true of Jimmy Anderson. Both started out as fairly ordinary bowlers but made themselves into world class performers. Neither has blistering pace, but both can beat the best batsmen in the world with late swing. When Zaheer talks, it's wise to listen- he knows what he's talking about.

  • on June 15, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    @Rajesh Dt - What a joke you've just cracked. Let me give you some of the examples of Tendulkar performing in crucial games. CB Series first final, he scores 117* of 120 balls, helping India chase 240 against Australia. In the second final, he, again, top-scored the game by scoring 91, helping India post 259 (?). The point is that Tendulkar made more-than-substantial contributions in these games - finals of an overseas series vs the world champions. In Compaq cup final 2009, he scored 130-odd runs vs Sri Lanka on a tough pitch to help India post a large total. In World Cup cricket, he scored 53 in the QF vs Australia to lay a foundation for the Indian chase (later, Yuvi finished it off brilliantly). In the semi-final versus Pakistan, he top-scored in the match was a luck-ridden, albeit match-winning 85. Still got any claims? I'm not saying Chappel was a bad coach. There were compatibility issues that created the problem.

  • bonny_crazy on June 15, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    The conditions in india is supportive for spin.. so pace bowlers bowl in limited space. May be bowlers like zaheer khan has taken 10 wkts or not he bowls well enough and picks wicket whenever u expect him to. his average is not good because of batsman friendly wickets. But i bet if he would have bowled in english or south african conditions regularly then he would have picked 10 wkts in a match regularly.

  • on June 15, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    @Meety...there's no denying that he became a better bowler after county cricket, but there's no doubt about the fact that Chappell made him insecure about his place in the team, ability as a bowler, and willingness to play cricket anymore. The point you don't seem to understand is that Chappell made him lose his confidence as he felt "unwanted", and he regained bowling confidence through county cricket.

  • caasi1 on June 15, 2011, 2:12 GMT

    Like everybody I too used to be a critic of Chappel in the way he tackled the players. But in Hindsight I think the role of Chappel was very very essential and it was the perfect foundation from which Gary could mould the team to what it is today. I dont think Gary could have done this much if not for chappel kicking the asses of all senior members getting them out of their comfort zones. This uncertainity as mentioned by Zaheer was a bolt from the blue and when Gary came with his calm approach later it was like a double effect. If not for chappel I dont think we would have got this double effect.

  • maddy20 on June 15, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    @Popcorn Mute coaches who did not push players to perform? Are you kidding me? Didn't we just win the worldcup. The likes of John Wright and Kirsten are the perfect coaches. They don't shoot their mouth off in front of the media whenever they get the chance. Yes you should give opportunities to youngsters but there should be a better way to do it, like slowly brining them in to play inconsequential matches like the ones in WestIndies and give a break to one or two seniors every once in a bring in a couple of youngsters. You will soon realize what I am talking about. I am sure you will agree that there is a better way to treat players like Katich who has been Aussies' most conving batsman in the last couple of years. I would have given Ricky the boot instead.

  • vparisa on June 15, 2011, 1:39 GMT

    @BoomBoom, Even Shane warne does not figure in that list of bowlers under 25.00 average. He has 25.41(courtesy statsguru) which excludes him from the list. All i want to say is that it does not make sense. However, Indian bowler headed the all time wicket taker list atleast once(Kapil Dev) and with Harbhajan Singh(393 wickets) we will have 3 bowlers in top 10 (not one Bowler from England/Pakistan/South Africa/NZ makes the cut there). Lot of batsmen have not scored 10000 runs yet from countries other than Ind/SA/Aus/WI

  • on June 15, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    To all Chappel haters, you say Indian team members didn't like him, because he tried to dictate them, he had problems with players' attitude etc. So, doesn't it imply that players did not want to follow him or his method of coaching?. So basically, players did not do what Chappel told them to do. Next, the team failed (wc 2007 being the key one, the overall record wasn't that bad), now how is that Chappel's fault. Team was dominated by a group of unprofessional, politically corrupted, divisive senior players including Tendulkar. Tendulkar hardly performs in the final/ crucial stages of any tournament. He is the spoiled kid in Indian team, mostly spoiled by Gavascar, who rooted for his promotion to open in ODI, to mainly shield him from pressure situations and for personal records. That is not the culture followed in other countries who have rich history in professional sports, where team performance matters more than personal records. I guess, that is what Chappel tried to implement.

  • triassicpark on June 15, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    @Boonhoom, mate, I find your comments interesting. You have tried to be neutral, but missed the point. This article was not about whether Zak is a class act or not. It is just that that it is his perspective and that perspective was shared by a lot of Indian cricketers. Chappell being a great batsmen/produced by Australia/one of the best in the game, is not the point of contention. Ultimately, if you see Chappell's methods did not suit India and from my point of view were poor. In terms of Zak, being one among the best, other readers have given enough reasoning. As I pointed out earlier in this forum, he's definitely not the best but facing him is not a stroll in the park. This interview by Zak has no disrespect to Australian players or selectors. All you have to do is look at Sydney morning Herald or the Australian and read about the dropping of Katich, and you'd get a perspective of Aussie selectors. Sorry to have digressed a little bit here.

  • on June 15, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    Chappell had his heart in the right place...he wanted to improve Indian cricket but failed to realize that the Aussie mode of thinking may not quite work here especially with older and more experienced cricketers. If he had come in during a transitionary period post Tendulkar, Ganguly, etc retiring, he may have done a far better job. Ganguly though owes Chappell because he had become dead weight in the team and his fielding was never legendary but because of Chappell he pushed himself to earn back his place in the team. Nobody doubts Ganguly's contribution as a captain to Indian cricket, possibly the greatest in that role but his work ethic and physical conditioning definitely stands in stark contrast to Dhoni, Tendulkar and Dravid.

  • Meety on June 15, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    @Jim1207 - what's bias about what I said mate. I have recently commented on Zaheer saying he is the best Indian pace bowler ever, (still hold that view), I had turned into a big fan of his. If I have misinterpreted what he said so be it, but what he has said appears to be poor. I think the Chappell bashing has more to do with a "victim" mentality rather then any real basis. @Rahul Ramachandran - within a week or two of this article, Zaheer was talking about how much he learned from his county stint. As many bowlers & batsmen before have achieved by playing County cricket, he came out a better bowler. Zaheer was a reasonable Journeyman 5 or 6 years ago, nowadays he is arguably the best pace bowler in the world, (Steyn is my pick), so before the Chappell/County stint he was average, afterwards he blossomed. Is that just coincidence? Full credit to Zaheer to play county cricket, but what prompted him to? @Maddy - maybe English isn't your native tongue, but you are no speaky clearly!LOL!

  • mak_xi on June 15, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    @BoonBoom; Who said India has fast pacy bowlers. All we have are strong batsmen and some slow bowlers. They do the trick for us. For us crazy cricket fans, the 2011 WCup was and is THE biggest thing. The #1 test spot is icing on the cake! So, now all we wanna do is eat it and relish it to the fullest!!

  • on June 15, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    @ SettingSun, an average of over 40 in both forms of the game, more than 7000 runs in test cricket, more than 11000 runs in ODI cricket is a career of a very good player. Yes, many pitches in the subcontinent are in favor of the batsmen, but that's still a very respectable record. Sourav played more test matches away and his average was still 42. A very good player, if not great. His captaincy record is quite good as well.

  • smartfriend on June 14, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    @SettingSun - Ganguly teach indian cricket the aggression and ability to stand and look into the eyes of opponent even the mighty aussie team of those days, he's the only one that time. its Ganguly captaincy days where indian team developed self belief and further winning ways. as Dhoni mentioned -SRT is god but its successful carrier of Saurav and Dravid which helped gr8 deal to transform team india.

  • SoulFried on June 14, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Instead of making Suresh Raina and others captain who aren't even playing in all forms of the game, why isn't BCCI giving Zak the opportunity? He is sensible, mature and the team-members clearly look upto him. Allow bowlers to have their moment in the sun as well. Captains don't have to be always batsmen!

  • BoonBoom on June 14, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Well.... I never said anything about Indian batsmen. No doubt they are all world class. No team has so many strong batsmen with 50 plus batting average playing at the same time. In short no disrespect to any Indian batsmen. SRT is the greatest. India has always won test matches thru their batsmen. NOW I come back to my previous question. How many Indian fast bowlers have taken at least 100 test wickets at an average of under 25.00. I now add one more question: when was the last time India won a test match where an Indian fast bowler took ten wickets in the Test? And one more points here... I am not writing all this out of jealousy... I am just curious to find real contribution of Indian fast bowlers as compared to spinners and batsmen for winning test matches for India. I am always for healthy debate and not tit for tat stuff.

  • on June 14, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    ..when did India win its first test match in south africa .under greg chapell..... Dravid is the best indian cricketer ever and most valuable...... someone played a clever trick so dravid got axed and sachin is playing like dravid...

  • TRAM on June 14, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    4 years back India was losing. Now India is winning. What is the Difference in Indian cricket? Dhoni, Kirstein, Krish Srikkanth. Dhoni & Kirsten's contribution are directly observable. Srikkanth's contribution is same as Greg Chappel's in a way that he brought many many youngsters for every slot of the 11. The good thing about that is, it threatens the seniors and and thereby making them perform better. I am sure Dinesh Karthik's presence made Dhoni improve his keeping. Gambhir's determination increased due to DKarthik/MVijay's presence. So is every other senior's skill. I am sure Kholi/Raina/Badri etc are threatening the weakest of SRT/VVS/RD and Ashwin threatening Harbajan. This was not the case with earlier selectors.

  • nlambda on June 14, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    @popcorn: "Indian cricketers need mute Coaches like John Wright and Gary Kirtsen,who really didn't push them to perform." yeah... with the former India reached WC final and nearly toppled Aus in Aus, Waugh, Gilchrist and all. With the latter India reached Test # 1 and won the WC... All because these "mute" coaches were not pushing the players to perform. Wish Greg Chappell becomes and stays the permanent coach of your favourite team :-)

  • SettingSun on June 14, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    I continue to be amazed at just how many Ganguly fanboys and fangirls there are around. He had an international record that was, considering all of the cricket he played on the bowler killing sub-continental pitches, below average, plus he was a divisive figure in the dressing room and hardly a roaring success at captain. Am I missing something?

  • on June 14, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    Eh, come on give Worcester a pat on the back!

  • gung-ho on June 14, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Pretty good interview by Zaheer - I am impressed.

    Amusing to see Aussies on the board pulling up their panties in a bunch hearing about Greg Chappel.

  • Rahulbose on June 14, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Chappell is the undisputed worst coach Indian cricket team has ever had. Great thing for India is that he is working for Cricket australia now, and not surprising that has resulted in the end of Aussie dominance in cricket. I hope SA hire him as coach next.

  • on June 14, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Greg chappell was the CURSE......and Gary kristen was the GIFT.

  • on June 14, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Zaheer came back strongly at WorldCup 2011 Chak De India style!

  • on June 14, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    None of the Indian youngsters is any exceptional. Kohli has all avg performances against strong sides. So is the case with Raina and Dhoni. It is only Dhoni's self belief and aggressive mindset towards the game and omission of slow DRAVID that is helping India win games. Indian running b/w wickets and fielding have also slightly improved in Dhoni's reign.....However replacing seniors with youngsters for the sake of it is total nonesence. Pak, WI and now AUS itself are best examples of how teams suffer when you fill teams with averagely talented youngsters. Seniors at various positions should be given occasional rests and youngsters should be tried in those positions. If youngster is actually performing better than that senior in that place then least performing senior in the team should be dropped. SIMPLE like India found a better replacement for Gangully in the form of Gambhir and it rightly dropped Gangully. Dravid was dropped and SRT took his role who has done it better than Dravid.

  • guesswhoitsmeabhi on June 14, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    i don't quite understand the fixation of most of the readers here,with the notion that greg chappell helped unearth a great deal of new indian talent.let me clarify two points here- 1.the only players brought in by chappell who survived to play in WC 2011 were suresh raina,sreeshanth & muanf patel.those who believe dhoni debuted under chappell are getting their facts wrong.dhoni debuted under john wright in dec,2004 while chappell came in july,2005.

    2.did chappell pull off some sort of a miracle by bringing in the aforemnetioned players.if that is so,the credit for indian victory in WC 2011 should go to john wright,for it was during his tenure that most players from the team debuted,or blossomed,namely- sehwag,zaheer,harbhajan,yuvraj,dhoni,gambhir.or we want to be a li'l more generous,we can credit the ex coaches like anshuman gaikwad too. i mean a coach doesn't oblige the team by bringing in new talent-it's his job,& by that yardstick,chappell did a poor job-only 3 young players!

  • on June 14, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    We'll surely miss Gary Kristen :(

  • Jim1207 on June 14, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    njn1, that's a gamble anyway. But if Greg comes to west indies (first of all if he is willing), he would get entangled into the web of politics between WICB, WIPA and players adding himself as an additional fourth dimension. One thing would be sure - Chris Gayle can forget his career and play beach cricket instead. And, even a senior batsman like Chanders would be shown door in a bad manner. May be, in long term Greg Chappell might bring good, may be not. But, we do not have to lose heart. It looks like Australia has started that experiment already by giving Greg all the powers so in few years we would come to know if he is a piece of cake which everyone detested or poison which some people willingly consumed. We will get to know and this everlasting argument would have an answer soon. :-)

  • on June 14, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Nice that zak has finally opened up...but i agree with those who said that it was chappell who forced zak to think abt himself...he made him to work hard n brot out d talent inside him...his way of doing so may a different n non-acceptable one but the result has helped INDIA A LOT!!! anyways...ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL!!!

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 14, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    I think this interview will hasten the end of career for Rahul Dravid... It was reminiscent of The Raj.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 14, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    There is a bit of hindi news channel aaj tak style lowest common denominator ting going on. Perhaps the news media should have a different strategy for Hindi/Regional vs English ?

  • SettingSun on June 14, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    In fairness, Zaheer Khan is a tremendous bowler. His transformation into a world class seamer reminds me of Chaminda Vaas in terms of left arm seamers - quite a late blossoming, but he's sacrificed pace for swing and seam movement. I think he will cause us some problems and those talking down his abilities obviously haven't seen him over the last couple of years. But it's a one man bowling attack - Harbhajan will do very little, and then who else is there? Ishant? Too inconsistent. Munaf? Too innocuous. Sreesanth? Too mental.

  • the_blue_android on June 14, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    If Journalists don't listen to the people who they are interviewing, what's the point of the interview? Mr Gupta, by all means please ask a question...and then wait till the interviewee finishes his or her answer, don't change the topic on him. Also, sometimes there is no connection between one question and the next, I know you guys have a format but it should also be impromptu to get the most natural answers.

  • candyfloss on June 14, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    You have to love the comments from the aussies on here,funny as always.On one hand they always discredit Indian batsmen for scoring on placid pithces on the other they want to take the bowling figures on the face value,what double standards.Anyway you guys can stick to greg chapel while we watch the decline of the australian team and we can enjoy our coaches who can help us win without "pushing" us.Oops the joke is on you.

  • on June 14, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    Boon World Champions. Enough said.

  • daily_rooster on June 14, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    This guy Sekhar Gupta is so dumb.I mean he ask the same question again and again.How can he qualify for an interviewer.Rephrasing isn't required Mr.Gupta.Doing some Homework on your part is required.

  • nayyar51 on June 14, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    to ravikiran nell...you wrote ' Coming to Zak's point of view, now we all know what skill he has and all it needed that time was confidence shown on him & other well deserved seniors ' Totally disagree with that. Zaheer was struggling with a lot of things at that time....and only became the bowler he is today AFTER he played a year of county cricket......English county cricket has always separated the real ones from the pretenders. One could actually argue that if Chappell had not dropped Zaheer he would not have made the effort to go and play county cricket and would NOT have become the bowler he is today. The whole article instead of being about the growth of Zaheer's career has been twisted into taking a cheap shot at Chappell

  • njn1 on June 14, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    Can't say i know much about Chappell as a coach or selector so maybe i shouldn't post a comment. However, is it possible that Chappell might just have been the type of disruptive force, at the right time, to jolt the prevailing culture within the team (India and now Australia)? not saying that his brand of management style is constructive for the long term - but it seems that he may have gotten some of these already top class players to ask questions of themselves and their desire to excel to be the best. I pose this question not bc i am supportive of what he did but rather bc i am an avid WI supporter and have been embarrased over the years to see what WI has evolved into. Maybe, Chappel is the type of short term coach we need before our team could respect a more nurturing coach liked Gibson. just some thoughts - not trying to agree or disagree with any other prior point of views. thanks.

  • DaGameChanger on June 14, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    this is for BoonBoom..Wickets...Its not how many you taken it but when you taken it and how many games you have won for your country. For just records, some of the team combine runs are less than Tendulkar. Forget Tendulkar, there are Sehwags, Gavaskars, Dravids whose records are unmatched still...

  • on June 14, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    well..well..well, guys look at whose complaining against greg chappel,beleive me he isn't the first & last cricketer to do so.i am glad that zak came out with the matter finally.And for those arguable ozzz supporters of greg ,yes he is undoubtedly a great batsmen ,who might have got his credits right ,if he hadnt taken the coaching job of indian cricket team.Hey ozzes ,your great fairy tale of cricketing history has long gone ,like the mighty west indian team of 1970-1996..Yet your turn arrives now ,not to ressurrect to your current "strongly feeble" team ,perhaps to face the turmoils you are going to exposed at the hands of "Mr.greg chappel".Yes i mean it guys,the first cut in the healing wound is "simon katich".go oz go..And finally here comes the news liz_hamp,check with this fact "most batsmen in todays cricket fear steyn-and zak" because they are the reverse swing demons in todays cricket.May be' Mike Hussey' would know the demon that i am meant

  • on June 14, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Zaheer is a decent bowler but not great. Regarding Chapell it is his opinion, If u like a coach u praise and if u dont like its the other way around. Chapell was not liked many in the team, because he was a little too harsh. I feel there is a groupism in the indian team, there is this one group which have not liked Chapell. In one way zaheer should thank chapell, as he was axed he worked hard and became decent from an ordinary bowler.

  • on June 14, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    This is impressive from Zaheer.....!!!!! He is one of those Lost & Found Jewels....This is first time in my entire life that i am posting a comment on an online article....

    I am impressed by Zaheer's explanation and maturity...

    Kudos!!! to him.....he played a vital role in getting us the long awaited world cup....Tho being in the hot favs in the last 3 world cups...we took some nasty immature hits....

    Hope he continuous to grow....

  • prak84 on June 14, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Well, this is my answer to Mr. BoonBoom. If you look at Zaheer's record frm Jan 07 to till date then certainly you will get second thoughts about ur comments. He is second only to Steyn during this period by any sort of comparisons. He has a better strike rate (28.17) than Johnson (29.71), James Anderson (29.09) (who hav playd more matches than Zak during ths period). He also has a better strike rate (26.68 Vs 32.60) and as many wickets (82 wicks each) as Johnson (Zak playd 4 matchs less) in overseas conditions. He hs also takn 5 wickets in an innings more times. It does really prove that ZAK IS A CLASS ACT. Certainly he s nt a bowler who s gng 2 make the batsman fear abt but he s a clever operator and he has come well over the yrs. If he doesn't belong to the elite category of his era, then no other bowlr frm any country qualifies for that as well.In the era of T20, short boundaries, flat pitches we can't be still comparing the poor fast bowlers with the 1's playd in 60,70&80's :) :)

  • ashfak59200 on June 14, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    to me, it was not only a bad issue for zaheer, it was a bad time for Irfan, too. if someone remember how ferocious he was in his bowling role. but after trevor's appointment, irfan was digressed to be a batsman,where india don't need a batsman like him. india need a sharp swing and fast bowler who can just make d opposition sleepless! irfan is lost because of those decision of making him a batsman. he needs consultancy now to return as a bowler only. if someone can make him think as a bowler he will be in his own form again. at least near of his that time's 70%.

  • CandidIndian on June 14, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    BoonBoom-Sure man ,keep backing up the so called great Greg Chapel , whole world knows what has he done to Australian cricket since he became selector.2-0 whitewash in India followed by thumping defeat in Ashes and world cup, many more to come just wait and watch.

  • avan03 on June 14, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    y not indian cant be a coach for indian team......

  • shannu152 on June 14, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    @popcorn: so is that why Katich is axed and Ponting is still in the team? so much for earning your baggy green!!! and going by that same logic, arent the youngsters' supposed to earn their place rather than it be handed over just becoz they are young?

  • Kreacher_Rocks on June 14, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    @Popcorn, "Not for nothing has Greg Chappell been appointed asthe Head of the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, and now Chairman of Selectors." We are all seeing the benefits of that, aren't we? Dropping their best and most consistent test batsman over the last 3 years on unsubstantiated grounds! He has already presided over Australia's descent in the test rankings to the 5th position. At the rate he is going one only needs to speculate how much further they can plummet.

  • on June 14, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Don't bring up the notion that Greg Chappell will ruin Australian cricket. He can only improve it. The Ricky Ponting decision was the right one. Ponting had to give up the captaincy, as it was effecting him mentally. He just looked like a man who was burdened by the role in recent years. As for Simon Katich, good call. He was hardly hard done by. Michael Slater was hard done by, Brad Hodge was hard done by. Simon Katich has not passed 50 in his last 10 test innings. We can't possibly have 3 batsmen over 35, when they'll more than likely retire consecutively alas Chappell, Marsh and Lillee. It's not smart. We must look to the future. Greg Chappell is a great addition to Cricket Australia and is the best man to spot young talent. Just look at some of the players he unearthed during his reign as Indian coach and look how those players have matured now.

  • couchpundit on June 14, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    @BoonBoom - I understand your desire to protect fellow aussie...btw i heard he is wrecking Havoc with Australian team too.... have fun with that. Care about your Australian team who is having tough time bowling a side out let alone batting an innings.

    @DonPaul - It was Sourav who brought these players to the forefront..not the back stabber.

  • kumsie on June 14, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    this is for boon , if you only look at averages , then look at shane warnes bowling numbers against india and that of lillee outside england and australia - it would be shameful . Its not only the numbers, pls look at other factors like pitches played on , attack around you etc

  • Beazle on June 14, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Greg Chappell was a very great batsman- to average 54 against the attacks he played against shows just how great he was- but as a Coach..........afraid not.

  • Ravikiran_Nell on June 14, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Well,... for people like sprakash 72,.... There's no denying fact that you perform, you stay in the team,.. even a 5th grader knows about the kind of competition he/she gets in India. But, once a player made their stamp in the national scene, the coach job is to optimize the talent / skill the individual player has for the team's effort. In this regard, Gregg utterly failed due to his pre-conceived ideas, without even trying to understand the Indian culture. ( Example of culture: After winning the WC2011, all the current indian players, including the hero- dhoni, said that they won it for Sachin !! ) I bet on anything that even all the sachin bashers felt that way. Coming to Zak's point of view, now we all know what skill he has and all it needed that time was confidence shown on him & other well deserved seniors. Bottomline is, Greg really damaged the progress made by John wright & Ganguly. India is lucky to have Gary & Dhoni at the 2011 worldcup.

  • on June 14, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    Apart from suresh Raina no other youngster came into the side & proved Himself (during time of chapell era)Chapell ruined the career of Irfan Pathan(even if he makes the come back into indian side he is not the bowler he use to be, Kaif is another casualty of Chapell era)

  • Harshtmm on June 14, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @BoonBoom, There is a word for your feeling towards Zaheer and India Jealousy. Zaheer, I salute you as a true Indian Hero and let all who hate you from other countries know that a Hero is not always talented, but has a heart that attracts fallowers to him. You increased my respect for you with this interview.

    And yes Chappell was a great batsmen but a poor poor coach.

  • reghuh on June 14, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Shikhar Dhawan- Club standard player who does not deserve a place in Indian team-His 50 was the ugliest ive seen from any opener. Manoj Tiwari- should be asked to bat at middle order (though Uthappa,Saurabh tiwari,Valthatty,Rayudu were better options) Wridhiman Saha- Does not deserve to be in Indian Team (Dinesh Kartik,Parthiv ,Rayudu are lots better ) Ishant Sharma- should be taken to school of basics or sacked from the team- Mad bowler with no direction,consistancy or focus.Just runs in and throws the ball. Windies is a club like team and loosing to them is a disgrace to the world champions..even local school teams in India have capability to beat windies every game and this loss is such a disgrace to the 5 million fans out here in India INclusion of people like Shikhar Dhawan,Ishant Sharma,Wridhiman Saha, Mukund etc is a shame to the fans of cricket and the cricket players back in India , World champions.........

  • on June 14, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Who interviews who here? Seems like Mr Gupta was hell bent on sharing his fantastic cricket knowledge and judgement with the world - and didn't care so much for the person he was interviewing.

  • Liz_Hamp on June 14, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    reading the article over and over, you will realise that the comment on greg chappell by Zak is only one of the many things he mentions. The analysis and input by the author makes one conclude that the comment by Zaheer is one of dismay. I however do not agree that the Indian team suffered in anyway due to GC. Infact had he not been appointed, Indian team would have deteriorated anyway. The coach is as good as his players. He wasnt going to do any miracles. Zak, you were ordinary and continue to be so, dont get carried away by your success. The performance over the years will show that you were never a class act.

  • on June 14, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Sekhar gupta - shut up!! You don't have butt in every 2 seconds!!

  • on June 14, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Coaching is not about selecting the best players..It is taking the players you have and turning them into the best...which definitely is not a theory of Greg Chappell who would do a better job as a Selector than a Coach!

  • Engle on June 14, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Under Chappell's watch, India could not even make the WC qualifying round. After getting rid of him, they win the WC !!!. Results matter and Chappell's results were woe some. As cricket coach of India, his job was to draw out the best from his resources - not force, dictate, push and intimidate - but coax, cajole, guide and motivate. His statement to Ganguly to drop the captaincy in the midst of the Zimbabwe tour was incredibly amateurish. G.Chappell was a great cricketer, unfortunately, great cricketers make bad coaches.

  • on June 14, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    @popcorn - Didnt they still perform "without being pushed" in Wright era and Kirsten era? Your analysis doesnt make sense (well, unless ofcourse you want to get rid of older gusy just for the sake of it). I mean, do you have a job? And if you do have one, you'd realize you wouldnt do your best if you think you'd get fired the next month. Now, I dont know what Chappel did for Brisbane but try explaining that to Katich. ALso, if there was such thing as "adhesive", wondered why Dravid couldnt apply that for a One Day spot? I'd take this underperforming One-Day World Champ, T20 Chapms (4 yrs ago?) Test #1 Indian team anyday. What exactly are you looking for in your team? 11 Brisbane honored Chappel brothers? @rizul - Ironical you say that.. Sachin didnt need to be dropped and Ravindra Jadeja has been dropped a few times, wonder where you'd place your bet?

  • mbabu73 on June 14, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost....your comment was best of all. ....lol...iam on the ground laughing

  • dpkhbk on June 14, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    @boonboom: it is easier to have a very good average playing in australian conditions as a bowler....to play your entire carrier in the subcontinent is a totally different thing..... you simply cant understand it with your blind eyes.....

  • Jim1207 on June 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    BoonBoom: In India test match score is on an average more than 400, and every bowler would go for some 70 runs, taking 2 wickets on an average in an innings. SO average would be easily 35. Finding a bowler with bowling average of 25 is next to a miracle. By the way, can we have an England or Australia batsman who has scored more than 50 international hundred. We can find one or two, that's it. Because there the innings average is less and batsmen don't get to score centuries often. This is the law of averages in test cricket, In India cricket is a batsman's game because of pitch conditions. Dennis Lillee's bowling average in sub-continent is close to hundred, I guess. People really talk like amateurs when try to find blame on others.

  • vijujack on June 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    It is time "SENIOR" cricketers stopped cribbing about Greg Chappell - he broke the trend that existed and shook up the system and a nice guy like Gary Kirsten comes in and gets all the accolades. Both Greg & Gary have done good for Indian cricket. The whole world agrees that Dravid & VVS are the quintessential team guys- is it any wonder that these two guys have nothing to say about GC? New guys at the time were Dhoni, Raina to just name two and they were brought in during GC's time and made seniors not take their places for granted. The seniors used to tout Parthiv Patel who was keeping out Dhoni at that time - the world know what Dhoni is to Indian cricket now. The team won the world cup because GC set them on the right path and once everyone embraced the team goals & the processes we have come this far. OZ cricket did it for ten years and GC did that to them and the same will happen to them 2 years down the line...

  • on June 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    The people who compare Zaheer's Career with Greg's career don't understand that it is not about Greg's skills that Zaheer is complaining about. He just said that Greg's coaching did not work for Indian players. Greg expected bowlers to bowl fast and bend their back all the time. Which does not work for Indian body make and fitness condition. Result, we lost two good fast bowlers Irfan and Balaji. They both lost their bowling action searching for extra pace. Excellent article and very good maturity shown by Zaheer here, he even says Greg succeeded in bringing some young players.

  • on June 14, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    This is how the county cricket helps..BCCI concentrated on IPL instead of improving out domestic cricket. How many international players are preferring to play in our domestic cricket, if they are out of their home team.

  • AdmireZAK on June 14, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    ZAK if you reading this 'Not only you, we all enjoy when you wreck those 3 sticks or play mind games with batsmen,the Worcester tenure is really good for us too to see you back in team...u almost took 10 wicks in an innings there',hope we'll not see any other chappell in India.

  • Jim1207 on June 14, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    @Saichandm: People do not blame others for their failures. True, Ganguly and Zaheer were not playing well. But the role of a coach is to make them play well, not drop from the team and "understand" the problem. Ganguly and Zaheer went their own way, struggled, mended their ways and forced themselves back into the team on the basis of strong first-class performances. The whole credit should go to the players only. If a role of a coach is to find who is not in good form and drop them from the team, we do not need an Australian to come and do that. People actually get carried away by Greg Chappell's personality and fear them and say yes to whatever he says. That's what he wants too. I am amused at the way some English are commenting here to stop Indians from whinging about Greg. If only they get a coach like that and see a good team being destroyed, they would understand. They have a good team and only thing they need is to have Aussies send Greg to England. It will soon happen.

  • ticktac on June 14, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    chappel was not a coach. he was an australian spy sent to spell dooms days for indian cricket

  • on June 14, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    True Words from his heart.Chappel has now started his experiments with Australia as a selector.

  • Sammy_07 on June 14, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Excellent interview...Thanks Zaheer for having the guts to expose the egoistic and clueless Chappell masquerading as a coach...It's funny that a man with zero integrity (underarm bowling) is being allowed to coach an international team!! He almost ruined Indian team and now he is on his way to ruining the Aussie team...

  • Jim1207 on June 14, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Can those who support Greg Chappell explain what he achieved as a result? No wins and just encouraging youngsters? The aim for a coach is to make a winning team. True, he brought lot of youngsters but he had no idea how to bring youngsters while keeping the senior players too and make them together a winning team. Australia continent is now immersed in his tide now. Many people say Gary had lot of youngsters when he came as coach and he easily made a winning team so. That's not a wise conclusion because Gary brought victory by having a formula and enabling the team to achieve the best on the field through hard work and perfect balancing of fitness, practice and mental strength. That's very easy to say now which Greg and his supporters would never ever understand.

  • MENDIS_Forever on June 14, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Indeed ,...Chappell is a miserable guy.One of the insane fools to play cricket.

  • on June 14, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Otis Gibson should read, understand and digest this information. This is what separates the sheep from the goats in coaching cricket

  • nikhilpuri on June 14, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    At the time, I thought that the older Indian players were not responding well to the "Aussie Way" too. But in time, I came to understand that as a coach you have to mould to your players, not the other way around. Gary Kirsten and John Wright were good at doing that, and they came up trumps. Under Wright, we learned to win abroad and reached the WC Final. Under Kirsten, we bettered that, becoming the No. 1 Test Side in the world and winning the World Cup. Chappell couldn't either of those. He is an astute cricketer but definitely wasnt the man of choice for India!

  • kingcobra85 on June 14, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Simon Katich would agree with Zak 100% lol

  • cric-maestro on June 14, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Well all the fans of Greg Chappell i guess wont be aware of that underarm controversy during his playing days...no doubt he is on his way to ruin the australian cricket and the recent infamous exclusion of simon katich does prove that...perhaps maybe this is aussie way that they are proud of,,,,surely india will beat them this time around when they go downunder... just cant wait to see the changes in aussie team after that series... and as for zak..the level of the maturity that he has now as a bowler can be sensed in the last three lines of the article..thnk u zak for a memorable wc performance...

  • on June 14, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    now, chappel phase worst for aussie ( 1st ponting. then simon katich)

  • QingdaoXI on June 14, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    It was Irfan who contributed to win 2007 World T20 and Zaheer in 2011 World cup. Hope Irfan will also come good as Zaheer has came because India need Both the sad thing is that both of them together never click or not get many chances. Intially Zaheer was on fire , then came Irfan and Zahir was no where for 4 years them Zaheer came back strongly and Irfan Lost his Place seeing both Players at there best it would have been best days for India Circket to Ball them together in Tests.

  • CricketChat on June 14, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Greg dictated terms to all, players and administration. Even with good intentions, it won't work in India. First Wright and then Gary, stayed in the background and "worked" within the system and individuals to get things done. They were also hardworking batsmen in their time, being not natural, so they understood the difficulties of average players trying to reach top level and were more sympathetic to their mistakes. Greg on the other hand is an all time great, things came to him naturally with less effort, was less forgiving.

  • on June 14, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    chappel brought youngsters like raina ,kohli ,ishant ,sreeshant ,dhoni to the team

  • BoonBoom on June 14, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Well.... I find Zaheer's comments quite interesting. Zaheer himslef is certainly NOT a class player by any standard. Look at his records and they will tell you he is just ordinary like any indian fast bowlers. Therefore, its not nice to point fingers towards Chappell who is regarded as one of the all time best player produced by Australia. BTW, has India ever produced a fast bowler who took at least 100 wickets under 25.00 bowling average??

  • fibonacci_72 on June 14, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    The Chappell era was a good one for Indian cricket because it broke up the "senior culture" in the Indian team and made it more like the Aussies - merit-based. If you look at the Indian team that won the WC this year, it resembles the Aussies of 2003 more than the Indian team of 2003 where senior players took their place for granted. Gary Kirsten, not taking away that he was a v good coach, benefited from this effect. Sorry, Zaheer, but even you improved as a bowler because you couldn't take your place for granted. Same goes for Sachin too, and the other Chappell's (Ian) criticism has brought the best out of him in the last few years. But, well done, in the WC! However, G Chappell's ineffectiveness in dealing with the complexities of Indian society made it harder for him to win fans all over the country, and he is not responsible for this. Besides, Dhoni is the best captain India has had since Kapil, so let's not forget that this coupled with home field advantage played a big hand.

  • manjitkm on June 14, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Experience speaks! This man is a wonderful work in progress...

  • bigdhonifan on June 14, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    @AndyZaltzmannsHair MAN, you are awesome!

  • on June 14, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    good job Zaheeeeeeeeer khan

  • on June 14, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    I have always admired Zaheer Khan. He is a good bowler who gives of his best. I want to wish his family and him a good life, and the very best of health, both now and long after he has retired!

  • george204 on June 14, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Greg Chappell may have been a great batsman (average >50 in the 70s-early 80s is worth at least 60 now), but as a coach he is a total idiot. He just doesn't have a clue how to handle different characters, how to motivate people, how to get the best out of them. His "bring on young players" mantra is not a panacea for every team's problems. Cricketers don't reach their prime until their late 20s - by which time Chappell thinks they are "over the hill"! India are well rid of him...

  • on June 14, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    well said zak u r d best bowler india hav

  • Truemans_Ghost on June 14, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    When (Ian) Chappell had that near punch-up with Botham a few months back I was surprised that several of my Aussie friends took Beefy's side! The family does seem to have a rare talent for uniting the cricketing world against them

  • on June 14, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Hey Everyone, why do we care to comment and argue within ourselves about this. I mean we don't know the truth of what really happened and we can only take Zaheers' word for it. And Please Stop Arguing among yourselves. Cricinfo is there to create UNITY among cricket fans not ARGUMENTS about what a player and official has or has not done. Its Crazy. LOVE THE GAME THAT IS "ETERNAL" and JUST WATCH THESE GUYS COME AND GO AND SHOWING THEM WHAT THEY CAN DO. WATCH JUST WATCH AND ENJOY.

  • Guthers007 on June 14, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Players from the sub-coninent have more excuses than Ned Kelly when it comes to admitting their short comings and faults. Maybe Mr Khan needs be honest with himself and own up to the fact that he just didnt perform when it counted - due to his own inadequacies.

  • TRAM on June 14, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Zak is good bowler NOW for the past year or two. He is still a horrible liability in fielding. Every bad fielder contributes to 20+ extra runs for the opponets. Greg Chappel did the right thing by dropping/threatening the career of fat belly Indian players. What did you expect from an Aussie great?? eh? At that time the trounced Indians were looking up at world #1 Australia's athleticism & killer instinct with gasping mouth. Hence they brought the Aus veteran as coach. And the Indians did benefit a lot. It is the 'politics-oriented' players who dont like Greg Chappel. Greg encouraged athletic, agile & young. Zak was dropped and he THEN he improved leaps and bounds. Sehwag was dropped and THEN he worked on his legside technique and became more consistent. If SRT was dropped at that time as per Greg (call it 'rested' if that makes people happy) SRT would have recovered faster and come back stronger sooner. People are complaining about Harbajan not performing now. Ask Greg what should

  • on June 14, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Zaheer is a class act who just oozes intelligence & common sense. He deserves every plaudit coming his way

  • SaqlainHK on June 14, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    Chappels is over smart, i think india did good to remove him, he like experimenting things on other countries . always objects what he feelis good .

  • trenta01 on June 14, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Zaheer looks like he bears a grudge back to the time when he has a mediocre player and couldn't knock over top batsmen now that alot of the top batsmen are out of world cricket he acts the big man. Dont be too quick to forget your batsmen win your side games Zaheer always have done always will do and a test average of near 32 coupled with a one day economy rate of close to 5 and you understand where you fit into the scheme of things as a bowler. Nothing too special there one world cup victory and test number one ranking and all of a sudden your head can't fit through the door.I don't hear the better players in your side acting so arrogant guess they have class on the field and off unlike yourself

  • vparisa on June 14, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    @popcorn, What Aussie way are you talking about mate? did you look at the current Australian team? where are performing youngsters? Aussie way was to stick with the great team for 10 years. No changes when they lost of to India in 2001, drew with India in 2003 and lost to England in 2005. They stuck to a team which gave 5-0 drubbing to England... Aussie way is sticking to your best.. Good in 70's, mediocre in 80's- mid 90s', greatest in 99-2008, mediocre now!!!Again What Aussie way? Mute coach or not, India did well during John and Gary's tenure and lost first round in 2007!! Chappel did not introduce the youngsters you are seeing now, they won T20 WC after Chappels exit. Yusuf pathan, rohit sharma were all making their debut in 2007 T20 WC much after chappels exit!!!

  • Gubbs2 on June 14, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    @ popcorn- Listen to yourself- "Indian cricketers need mute Coaches like...Gary Kirtsen,who really didn't push them to perform". Not performing like winning the world cup and being number one ranked in tests.. Better stick to the legendary Mr Chappel and his Aussie way that got India nowhere. Joker..

  • nataraajds on June 14, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Zaheer now is a complete bowler, he knows the art of fast bowling. only Kapil, Sreenath,Zaheer & madan lal knows this art & used it effectively. Now Zaheer must concentrate on extending his carrear as long as possible to help his bowling partners to settle down.

  • on June 14, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    India's best captain ever, S. Ganguly lost his captaincy when that Chappell was coach, he really set back India cricket, Chappell did nothing to help India, only hampered India

  • vparisa on June 14, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    @rizul, I do not agree with you. Australian team was nearly unchanged for 10 years. What you need is the security (like our job security) to perform well. Gautam Gambhir spoke about security many times when asked which was completely missing during chappels tenure. India won the world cup with almost a similar side which played in 2008 CB Series. On the other end, Look at current Pakistan team, they make wholesale changes even if they win games and that leads to no stability whatsoever.

  • on June 14, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    @sweetspot very very well said mate.. A True Team India fan..

  • cricfan06 on June 14, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @SettingSun - in your dreams mate! or judging by the weather in your country 'wet dreams' i might add.. your only chance is if the wet dreams really do come alive and rain spoils the day! India are not a substandard SL side - don't get carried away by what you're seeing at the moment.

  • Ashwin07 on June 14, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    SettingSun...y the hell are u reading this article then?? the title CLEARLY states what its about...dont read if you don't care simple! I'm pretty sure he was responding to a qs about katich being dropped by Chappell so still a relevant topic

  • rizul on June 14, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Does anyone not understand that if Zak was not dropped, he would not have become a great fast bowler like he is today. All Indian players think that if they perform once in their career like Ganguly, they have cemented their spot for future years. This should not be the case as everyone Indian player needs to be dropped once in order to mature and become a successful player. What Greg Chappel did, was that he made players know that each spot in the team wasn't fixed and that young players that are developing could well and truly come and replace them. This type of pressure is given to all other successful teams, especially Australia.

  • shabbir on June 14, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Greg Chapple halted the progress that was started during Jhon wright. During the tenure of Greg Chapple carrier of many established playersuch as Ganguly as a captain, Zaheer, kaif and Irfan pathan, some of the have fought back in to the team and many still struggling to come to terms from the advises given by him.

  • popcorn on June 14, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Greg Chappell punctured the bloated egos of the Indian cricketers who do not like being ticked off. Greg Chappell did right,fosussing on youngsters. The Aussie way is to make sure that you earn your Baggy Green- there are many waiting waiting in the wings - if you don't perform, you're out. So Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Sourav Ganguly who thought they had adhesive stuck to their shoes in the Indian Team,couldn't take the pressure.The youngsters who are playing for India today, owe it to Greg Chappell. Not for nothing has Greg Chappell been appointed asthe Head of the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, and now Chairman of Selectors.Indian cricketers need mute Coaches like John Wright and Gary Kirtsen,who really didn't push them to perform.

  • T.SB on June 14, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    Chappel has to learn one thing...players are not 'chappal's!!Dont expect them to obey wat ever he does.

  • AB99 on June 14, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    GS Chappel was a bad experience for Team India. Why blame him alone - Dravid was the captain then and did RD not have the guts to push it back to Chappel as his "Ye Sir" man. This is one reason why Dada was dropped ... he was never a "yes sir" man ...

  • on June 14, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    If looking into pure records Greg Chappel era was not that bad but the concern is that almost all the players have said something bad about it. It means there should be something wrong with Chappel

  • SettingSun on June 14, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    India really does need to get over the whole Greg Chappell thing. THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES NOT CARE. I suppose you're going to somehow find a way to blame him when you lose in England?

  • Amarjitmadan on June 14, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Greg Chappel continues to be a high headed person and surely he did discourage Zaheer to the extent that a downward slide started.He also has a roll in ouster of Katich who also mentioned that he wanted to replace Sachin Tendulkar as well, reflects a lot on his character.Zaheer leads the bowling attack and is an example the way he encourages his juniors.

  • sweetspot on June 14, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Thank you Zak! There is NOTHING you guys need to prove for us or anybody else anymore. Top of the chart, done and dusted. Both Tests and ODIs. Whatever more you want to do is for your own joy. We are grateful, fully satisfied, sublimely happy with what you and the rest of the Indian team have accomplished in the last few years. The one wish I had was that we had the time to let the feeling sink in after the World Cup. The IPL started too soon and robbed us of that immense satisfaction of being Indian Cricket fans. But the IPL is our baby too, so if you guys made some money, great! You have already given us whatever we could have asked for, so whatever any detractor from anywhere may say, we don't give a rat's behind to such nonsense. Just enjoy the rest of the journey, Zak! The real fans of Indian cricket will never give up on you or grudge you for anything.

  • Jim1207 on June 14, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Meety, If we look at everything with a biased eye we would miss obvious things. Zak says he was dropped even though he had not performed badly. Performing badly is different from what one feels in his heart about his game and current form. One player can still perform wonderfully and yet feel not confident. One player can feel very upbeat but still his game could not come up properly at that time. We have to understand a player's psychology. Clearly Zak is not trying to make Chappell a villain. Nobody does that for fun. @Anand, can you explain how sachin, viru, zak, ganguly, bhajji and yuvi all lost their form during Chappell's era? Is that a strange coincidence? Sachin was struggling with injury and wanted to play on in his career, but everybody else was advising him to retire including Chappell brothers. Sachin came against all odds, against millions of critics too and in-camp coach to be successful and win a dream world cup too. Same goes for Zaheer too.

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on June 14, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    One more thing is many young bowlers credits and thank Zaheer for his guidance and mentoring and that's really very good... Way to go Zaheer Bhai

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Chappel didnt allow Sachin to open the innings for India in that 2007 world cup also SRT was written off a couple years ago by this great man Chappel. Somehow he posseses this extra ordinary ability of ruining good cricket teams!!!!!

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on June 14, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    What a bowler Zaheer has turned out to be in so short period of time....It is so nice to see him bowl. Loved his bowling all through the WC. Especially the overs in WC final and our top class fielding by Yuvi, Raina, Kohli etc was excellent. He is second best bowler next to Steyn or you can say both are going great at the moment.

  • maddy20 on June 14, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    @Meety What Zaheer meant was he always had to fight for his place in the team due to Mr.Chappell. So when he was dumped he left to play the county to get his focus back on the county. Dude you talk like an amateur! The worst part is that Chappel is doing the same to the Aussie team and they are foolish enough to have him around despite of all this. Katich will be the first of the many senior cricketers in the Australian cricket team about to be purged by Mr.CHappel. And mark my words if he is with the Aussies in 2015 wc they might as well prepare for a first round exit!

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    After a good while have I read a decent interview. Well spoken by Zaheer Khan. I am not an Indian but this guy is one of the best bowlers of this era.

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Zak has been a superb bowler and great mentor for younger bowlers in the team. Chappel is doing his bit with Aus cricket now by dropping Katich from contract list even after consistent performance from last couple of years. Chappel has this great nack / ability to destroy any team single handedly, if given a good position with lots of authority!!!!!!!!

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @Anand jakhotia. I like and agree with your observation. Generally people tend to get carried away with everything a comeback guy has to say. People get emotional about the way one had to struggle for a place in the squad. He is the best Indian bowler right now and no doubt that. But he was dropped for the right reasons only. Maybe it is possible that the team and board management didn't give him enough confidence during his wilderness. That was wrong. Adding to that Chappell had a very authoritarian way of running things at that time. But Zak we are happy that you are back and hope that you will lead the attack for at least another 4 years if not more.all the best

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    He was great at Worcestershire. Shame - these days Worcestershire might be able to afford Christopher Biggins on a part time fast bowling contract only

  • prakash_mishra on June 14, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Zaheer's development has been tremendous in past 4 or 5 years.He is one of the most deceptive seam bowlers around the world.He is one of few bowlers from India who can swing the odd ball in the air as well as move the ball in both directions after the ball is pitched.He also has the rare reverse swing and can bamboozle the batsmen once the ball is old.I consider him more effective against left handed batsmen.He is truly the spearhead of Indain attack at this moment.I hope he is OK to play before the English tour.Greg's approach was detrimental to Indian Cricket.He did put pressure on the players and demanded performance.Few players did deliver at that time like Yuvraj,Dhoni and Bhajji.But the way he treated Ganguly indicated he didn't believe in working in harmony but rather dictated his terms.One player whom greg completely distroyed was Irfan Pathan.The bowler with such ability is now left nowhere.The attempt to convert him into allrounder has left him neither a bowler nor a batsman.

  • Saichandm on June 14, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    The way I understand this... Zaheer wasn't performing well (Also, He used to bowl across the btasman and never moved the ball in) and was dropped... He played county cricket, developed and honed his skills and returned back as a much better bowler... Same is the case with Ganguly, not playing well, dropped. Came back and became the highest run getter of the year... Talk about people wanting to blame someone for their failures :P

  • on June 14, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    zaheer ur a superb bowler now & thanks for helping india win WC 2011. But winning 2003 WC would have been sweeter bcos it was on a foreign soil, but for ur foolhardinness & cocky behaviour, v had a disastrous start. u just cant say ur were young.look at steyn, young but mature. sorry zak, that defeat in 2003 still rankles. Prove urself by wiining test series in AUS next year & 2015 WC in aus. then u will b one of the greats.

  • on June 14, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    @Ãådhîl Ax who are the world champians?india and who is the best bowler of india?zaheer SO ANYWAY HE IS THE BEST BOWLER AND HE ALSO PICKED MOST WICKETS IN THE WORLD CUP 2011

  • Harvey on June 14, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    My favourite moment of the Chappell era was seeing the expression on his face after India were thrashed by a severely depleted England side in the final Test at the Wankhede in 2006, which squared the series. Quality!

  • on June 14, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    much should not be read into zak's comment abt chappel. it was his personal opinion. but with due credit 2 zaheer he was dropped bcos he was not bowling well. as simple as that. that was a wake up call. same goes with ganguly, bhajji, viru & yuvi who took their places for granted. stats prove that. what chappel did was expected from a straight faced coach who doesnt believe in pampering. As for 2007 WC, entire indian team is 2 b blamed for their dismal performance along with coach. agreed he made mistakes by shuffling bat order, but that cant be an excuse. In hindsight chappel period was not that bad as it is made out 2 be.

  • ronson333 on June 14, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Zak your a great bowler, keep it up, India is with you

  • pargat89 on June 14, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    @Meety By ur comment it looks like, you are an austrailian or a chappel fan... Nyways.. nice article.. Hats off to zaheer and best of luck for the future...:)

  • stormy16 on June 14, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    The Chappel - India marriage was never going to work due to Chappel's personality which is always been strong and dictoral. I think it would have worked with a 'younger' Indian team but not with the one he had which included larger than life players. Zak for me is a real talent leading the attack on his own and most importantly, he has developed his skills to be able to make things happen on dead wickets. Its one thing to get wickets on a seam friendly English track or a bouncy SA track but another thing to do it on a flat track. He has also developed subtle ways to swing the ball and the 'knuckle ball' which really highlights his talent and skill. So where is Zak after the great Akram who surely was the best left armer ever? Porbably only second to Akram. I can think of Vaas who was similar to Zak with skills but without the pace but many more who are in the same bracket.

  • Hindh on June 14, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    I dont give a damn whether we win in Eng or not we have already won there in 2007.. but what mattered was the WC 2011 win. CONGRATS INDIA AND ZAHEER.....

  • KKRajesh on June 14, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    again. ... adding fuel into the fire.

  • triassicpark on June 14, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    @ AndyZaltzmannsHair , your comments evoke laughter as AndyZaltzman. 'opinions' very funny, good on you. also @aadhil, this article was not about Zak being the best nor was he felicitated with some award. He may not be the best but still a feared bowler. Fullstop. Otherwise most of the other readers, have had their say on Chappel's methods. !!!!!!!!!!

  • VijayRajan on June 14, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    He deserved Arjuna award 2 years ago. Dor his contribution to the game, BCCI must appoint him captain for a series against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

    He is a very underrated cricketer. By the end of his career, he will be up there with Kapil Dev.

  • on June 14, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    @Meety...he wasn't feeling confident because of the way Chappell treated him and that's why he used the opportunity to play country cricket.

  • on June 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    i still remember that Africa XI vs Asia XI as if it was yesterday, Shoaib Akhtar steaming in & taking wickets from one end, Ashish Nehra bowling so well at the depth, Steyn made his debut in that series but there was one man who silently did most of the damage & got the man of the series it was Zaheer Khan, in 3 matches he got 3 wickets each & in the last match he managed to get the opposition out for 108. Some really great memories from that series.

  • on June 14, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Zaheer has got redemption since bitter chappel era. He lost his speed but gained invincible reverse swing and in swinging delivery in his armory. Earlier he was quick of the pitch and used to bowl across the batsman and not toward him. He has been impeccable and at his best. I wish he completes 100 tests and 350 plus wicket before he calls the day. All the best to him

  • Karunk on June 14, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    There have been some positives from Chappel's era. He brought all the senior players back on the ground, made them work hard, fight for their places, brought in youngsters to shake up seniors. When Kirsten came in, all the senior players like Harbhajan, Zaheer, Viru, Yuvraj etc.. had realized that they need to be fit and perform to retain their places. It was easy for Kirsten to take it forward. Raina, who is leading the current ODI team, was brought in to shake up Yuvraj and Ganguly. It has become in thing for current seniors like Zaheer, Harbhajan, Viru, Yuvraj to keep criticizing Chappel during these kinds of interviews. Chappel took over on BCCI request and BCCI took suggestions from Ganguly before bringing him. He might have made some mistakes in understanding the culture, ego & psychology of senior Indian cricketers. But he tried with good intention to discipline them. They need to stop talking about him now. Indian cricket has benefited from Chappel.

  • indianzen on June 14, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    So mature comments from Zaky, my favorite bowler... "When to go for the Kill", mate thats worth a thousand dollars... you are the crown of Indian bowling attack...

  • MSDonLSD on June 14, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Zaks Attack on Chappell is the perfect example of how he plays his game. Timing is everything! He may not be the most talented Indian player but is most definately the deadliest. Fast bowlers that have killer instinct are without doubt players you want in your team which is exactly why India are no 1 world champions today! You are the man Zak You are the Man!

  • on June 14, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    He's the main reason for winning the world cup.

  • Meety on June 14, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    What a load of garbage! On the one hand Chappell's era in India "...I was dropped straight after the Sri Lanka tour, even though I had not performed badly..." yet about the same time he played County cricket because, "...he was not feeling confident about his game..." Had nothing to do with Chappell - previous comments by Zaheer talked about the polish that County cricket put on his game. These comments by Zaheer are inconsistant! Poor form Zaheer!

  • amit1807kuwait on June 14, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    Apart from Suresh Raina, I do not recall any other youngster introduced during the Chappell era who is still at the big stage. If anything, a few youngsters at that time who had potential fell by the wayside during his tenure. A prime example is Irfan Pathan. His decline started during the Chappell regime. Mohd Kaif was another casualty. Only strong and determined characters like Kumble, Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar survived the mess created by Chappell. And now he is weaving his magic with his own national team. It was a good riddance. We do not need to be reminded of that time - it was, as Zak has put it, the worst time for Indian cricket!

  • cricmatters on June 14, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Zahir Khan is a true champion for modern India. I still remember his opening over which cost 17 runs which set the tone for the match in 2003 WC final. In the hindsight, they should have opened the bowling with a spinner. Zahir and India both have come a long way since then. It is a pity that India could not find a opening bowling partner to Zahir to keep the other end tight. Zahir can hold his head high as he toiled for wickets as a lone warrior and has won India many test matches.

  • on June 14, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    moan moan moan, nothing was going to replace John Wrights hard work. Whoever got that position was going to have it rough. In this case it was Chappel.

  • vpk23 on June 14, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Hi Zac you are on the spot on your comments. In hindsight it made you work that harder too and get back into ship shape.

    If it wern't for Chappel we would not have seen the best out of you neither.. You were overweight and a bit heavy on the head, even Gangu and the rest. What he 'Greg' did was by some sort of mysterious forces shake up Indian cricket which turned Indian cricket into a new direction...and hmm which Gary just took the banton and crossed the finished line... IN HINDSIGHT IT WAS ALL FOR THE GOOD. We GOT THE SENIORS QUITE FIT AGAIN AND HUNGRY FOR MORE AND GAINED FEW YOUNGSTERS...EVEN A YOUNGER GANGU WHO FISHED OFF IN STYLE SCORING A 200 AND 500 RUNS FOR THE SERIES....EVEN EXTENDED SACHINS TOO.

  • World-Champs-TEAM-INDIA on June 14, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    This man has been the spearhead of indian attack for 3-4 years now. He has performed in every condition. The more important thing is that he has helped the other young bowlers in their game who bowl at the other end , he has been a mentor for them. Hats off to you Zak , You are a Legend.

  • Indian_Rules on June 14, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    really nice article... good thoughts shared by ZAK

  • vaidy on June 14, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    And now Greggie is doing the same to the Oz team - dropping Katich for starters! Punter, M Hussey watch out - keeping looking over your shoulders!

  • Dhanno on June 14, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    So everyone loves the guy who was just appointed the aussie selector.. with peanuts you get Chappell, who then goes ahead and drops the most consistent player of the team he is supposed to select. Way to go!!

  • arunnhk on June 14, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Everything said by Zaheer is right!!! The concern is tht there s no successor for him in the Indian team to take over his reesponsibility...

  • donda on June 14, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Chappel era was extremely good for India because after each bad day there comes a new good day and that came in the face of Gary Kristen.

    Indian team would never appreciate Kristen more if they never hatted Chappel that much.

    To me Chappel era was good for India because Indian learnt a great lesson like American learnt from great depression of 1930........

    People like Chappel who keeps the business going for good people like Kristen.

  • MohammadArif on June 14, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Zaheer, you are the best fast bowler , i have seen in indian side, good going, have a nice time,and with you do better for our indian team

  • bharath74 on June 14, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Zaheer Khan "Pride of India."

  • cricket_for_all on June 14, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    I hope AUS board read this article (I am not talking about Australian fans they already knew).

  • on June 14, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Not Too Fast Zaheer u Are Not The Best Bowler In The World

  • on June 14, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    This sounds suspiciously like Otis Gibson and the West Indies...

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 14, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    The Chappell brothers need to be packed up and shipped to an old folks home. They can keep each other company with their "opinions".

  • US_Indian on June 14, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    The best part is you understood your limitations and your strengths, and accordingly adjusted your game and mindset, which i believe benefitted you and along with that the confidence reposed in you by your captains. It is heartening to see that you are not being selfish these days and literally grooming the youngsters, which is a very rare sign among indian cricketers. Please do your bit to coach, mentor or counsel Irfan Pathan otherwise he will be another talent wasted, or if you could use your contacts and send him to English counties as the pakistani players do, that will help him immensely as it had done to you and if he get back from his english stint that would be a bonus and good give back to the game of cricket and remember as afast bowler you have maybe couple of years more so it is right time to get him in to the indian fold, as you said the biggest culprit is Greg Chappel again who confused him and the current selectors are keeping on ignoring him which is not good.

  • AntoJoy on June 14, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Well said Zaheer... !! Bring more smiles and victories for Team India !! :-)

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  • AntoJoy on June 14, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Well said Zaheer... !! Bring more smiles and victories for Team India !! :-)

  • US_Indian on June 14, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    The best part is you understood your limitations and your strengths, and accordingly adjusted your game and mindset, which i believe benefitted you and along with that the confidence reposed in you by your captains. It is heartening to see that you are not being selfish these days and literally grooming the youngsters, which is a very rare sign among indian cricketers. Please do your bit to coach, mentor or counsel Irfan Pathan otherwise he will be another talent wasted, or if you could use your contacts and send him to English counties as the pakistani players do, that will help him immensely as it had done to you and if he get back from his english stint that would be a bonus and good give back to the game of cricket and remember as afast bowler you have maybe couple of years more so it is right time to get him in to the indian fold, as you said the biggest culprit is Greg Chappel again who confused him and the current selectors are keeping on ignoring him which is not good.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on June 14, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    The Chappell brothers need to be packed up and shipped to an old folks home. They can keep each other company with their "opinions".

  • on June 14, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    This sounds suspiciously like Otis Gibson and the West Indies...

  • on June 14, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Not Too Fast Zaheer u Are Not The Best Bowler In The World

  • cricket_for_all on June 14, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    I hope AUS board read this article (I am not talking about Australian fans they already knew).

  • bharath74 on June 14, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Zaheer Khan "Pride of India."

  • MohammadArif on June 14, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Zaheer, you are the best fast bowler , i have seen in indian side, good going, have a nice time,and with you do better for our indian team

  • donda on June 14, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Chappel era was extremely good for India because after each bad day there comes a new good day and that came in the face of Gary Kristen.

    Indian team would never appreciate Kristen more if they never hatted Chappel that much.

    To me Chappel era was good for India because Indian learnt a great lesson like American learnt from great depression of 1930........

    People like Chappel who keeps the business going for good people like Kristen.

  • arunnhk on June 14, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Everything said by Zaheer is right!!! The concern is tht there s no successor for him in the Indian team to take over his reesponsibility...