Former Indian team opener Virender Sehwag has spoked of the difficulties he faced under Greg Chappel when he was an coach for Team India for 2 years.
Speaking to stand-up comedian and cricket humorist Vikram Sathaye on his new web show ‘What The Duck’. When he was asked about his experience with coach Greg Chappell in Team India, Sehwag said,“If you talk of Greg Chappell’s cricketing knowledge, it’s superb. But when it came to man management, absolutely zero. A coach should realize which of his players are giving him the best performance in matches, and then how he should handle them, how much time should be given to them, the need to give them their space. In international cricket there is no need for a coach; you need a friend who can manage you correctly. But with Chappell, it proved the other way around. He was keen to change my footwork.”
Sehwag gave an example during India’s tour of the West Indies in 2006, when Chappell approached him during the nets a day before a Test match. “We were in St Lucia, and during practice, one day he came to me and told me to stretch my front foot to the maximum as that would impact my game better. I played a few shots and told him that I wasn’t comfortable doing that because I had never stretched that much in my career. I don’t do it during matches, so perhaps this isn’t worth my effort in practice. In turn, he got angry and said ‘you have to do it, you have to do it, I’m telling you to do it,” said Sehwag.
“Things got heated between us and Rahul Dravid intervened and told me that if the coach is doing it, then I should do it and complete the formality. Then I did it a little bit. Then he [Chappell] said to me ‘Batting in your style, you’re not able to score runs’. To which I said ‘OK, then if I don’t score runs, you will drop me’. The conversation ended there and we went our separate ways,” Sehwag added.
On the next day, at the lunch break, Sehwag went into the dressing room with an unbeaten on 99 off 75 balls and Sehwag said,“I came into the dressing room and told him ‘it doesn’t matter if my feet move or not, I will score runs and I’ve done that.’ He just kept quiet.”
Sehwag went on to make 180 runs from 190 balls in India’s innings of 588/8 declared and Sehwag awarded Man of the Match in the drawn test.