Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Team India gets stung by sting

(The Great Indian Muddle...AP Photo)

As if we did not know it, Aaj Tak, along with its English-speaking sister Headlines Today, carried a sting operation where the selector quartet of Ranjib Biswal, Bhupinder Singh Sr, Venkatapathy Raju and Sanjay Jagdale ‘reveal’ a dressing room riddled with infighting and ego clash. And how ominous Greg Chappell was. The highlights are:

Bhupinder Singh Sr: "Greg wanted to show everybody he is the boss. He was not happy with anybody. There were instances when Chappell was not talking to senior players for 4-5 days. He was not on talking terms with Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh. It happened in South Africa.”

The North Zone selector says Chappell had a "divide and rule policy" and was the additional ego in a team full of egos.

He also said that Rahul Dravid had problems with Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. They were not supporting Dravid, says Bhupinder; some players were backing Tendulkar, some Ganguly. "They are sensing that if he fails then we have a chance to become captain."

Ranjib Biswal: "Greg could not understand Indian cricketers' psyche. He was more like a schoolmaster than a friend."

Sanjay Jagdale: "I won't call it factionalism but there were some personal problems.”

Jagdale also reveals that S Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan had fought in the dressing room.

Niranjan Shah: "Endorsement money is so huge, there is a chance of a grey area. They will get money if they are in the team, otherwise they won't. That's why. it [pressure from sponsors to retain them] may be there. That's why the board has said only three endorsements per player."

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