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September 19, 2005
Ganguly declined to speak after practice at Harare Sports Club on Monday, with Greg Chappell, the coach, suggesting that the captain did not "want to be grilled by them (Indian press)". His absence represented a break from tradition when captains talk pre-match about their team, state of the wicket, recent form plus expectations of play.
Despite leading India to an innings and 90 run win over hapless Zimbabwe with a day to spare in the first Test at Bulawayo, Ganguly is facing the prospect of his working relationship with Chappell plummeting to crisis point. Ganguly, who hit a much-needed century in that game, caused a sensation by revealing that he had been asked to stand down as skipper before the match.
It was reported that Chappell hinted that Ganguly's form as a batsman might be better served if the captaincy was surrendered but Chappell vigorously denied that the suggestion was made by him.
Meanwhile, the Indian team was working off steam on the field and in the nets, even under a hot sun, following their break at Victoria Falls. They are clearly determined to beat Zimbabwe in the final match of their tour and by as big a margin as possible.