January 25, 2020
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"Greg Was Targeting Senior Players"

The former national selector revisits his tenuous association with the coach

"Greg Was Targeting Senior Players"
Former national selector Yashpal Sharma was one of the first from the inner circle of Indian cricket to point out that Chappell would not be able to deliver the goods. In late ’05, Sharma had told Outlook that Chappell was getting personal. The ’83 World Cup veteran revisits his tenuous association with the coach:

On whether he feels vindicated, now that Chappell’s days are over.

No one wants to be vindicated like this. I’d rather have been proved wrong with Team India doing well at the World Cup. It’s not as if I have a personal grouse against Greg or against his vision for Indian cricket...I was just unsure about the approach he used to implement his vision for India.

On why he thought Greg’s approach would not work:

You have to be patient when you are attempting to change a system. You can’t just say it’ll work if you are given a fresh lot of junior players.

On if his worst fears coming true:

Nobody took me seriously when I said in November ’05 that Greg was targeting experienced players like Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh. I did not mention Sachin Tendulkar’s name then but it is clear that he wanted a team of youngsters, even if it meant the most experienced players being axed and the middle rung feeling insecure.

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