Ganguly keeps his counsel

Sourav Ganguly refused to comment on speculation about a rift between himself and Greg Chappell

Cricinfo staff

Sourav Ganguly has spoken of his relief in notching up his 12th Test century, while revealing he was asked to step down as captain © AFP
Speaking after his side had secured a thumping innings-and-90-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first Test at Bulawayo, India's captain, Sourav Ganguly, refused to comment on speculation about a rift between himself and the coach, Greg Chappell, that has undermined the team's performances in recent days.
"Only time will tell. It's not right for me to make a statement now," said Ganguly after his side had taken the last four Zimbabwean wickets to fall. "You know what has been happening in Indian cricket. Other people are making the decisions; my silence says everything so I'll stick to it."
The Indian Cricket Board were also keeping their counsel. "Right now the focus is on winning the series and we do not wish to make any comment," said Rajiv Shukla, the BCCI vice-president. "These are very trivial issues which are being blown out of proportion by the media."
On Thursday, Ganguly caused a storm by implying that he had been asked to step down from the Indian captaincy by Chappell on the eve of the Test. Chappell, however, took a statesman-like stance on the issue and said if the team focuses on success, a lot of these issues would not matter.
"Things come up from time to time and people get frustrated," he told the Press Trust of India. "They say things which probably they don't really mean and are not as important as they are made out to be. I think if we keep looking at success a lot of these issues would fade away."
Chappell added he had been through this all and was only interested in following the right process. "There are some things which you can't control. We can only concentrate on what we are doing. I have been through this before. There is always going to be something bubbling around the place. We can't get worried about it or get involved in it."
As for Ganguly, his long-awaited 12th Test century - his first since the Brisbane Test against Australia two years ago - had given him a new confidence for the second Test, which gets underway in Harare next Tuesday.
"It felt good to be back among runs. I will be more confident in Harare," Ganguly said, adding that form was of more relevance in this series than the margins of victory. "More than the series win, how we have played Test cricket in the last four days is more important to me.
"It was a good side a couple of years ago," he added, when asked about Zimbabwe's continued Test status. "They are down a bit but then there have been a few sides who have slipped in the past. Zimbabwe can be up again and they require the opportunity."