Former national selector Ranjib Biswal rubbishes Greg Chappell's claims about Sourav Ganguly
Aussie batting great Greg Chappell, in his book Fierce Focus, has made allegations left, right and centre about the Indian cricket team that he coached during 2005-2007. According to Chappell, the then India captain Sourav Ganguly was the biggest "panicker" in the team and he wanted Chappell to support him in his bid to remain the captain. He has made several other allegations, which were countered by former national selector Ranjib Biswal, who worked closely with the Aussie during his two-year stint.
Mind your language: Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell during Team
India practice. Pic/AFP
Biswal called Greg stupid as far as those revelations are concerned. "He is being stupid. He never understood the Indian culture and tried to do things his own way which didn't go down well with the system," Biswal told MiD DAY yesterday.
On the allegation that the team was divided because the juniors didn't have enough courage to speak when the seniors were around, Biswal cited the Indian upbringing. "We are taugh to respect seniors. And suddenly if a foreigner comes and says exactly the opposite, it creates confusion and team spirit is affected. That's what happened during Greg's tenure," Biswal added.
Reacting to Chappell's attack on Ganguly and the seniors for their non-performance, he said: "We as selectors gave him our top 15 players and he was expected to guide them in the right direction. But instead, he started dividing the team and categorised players as seniors and juniors. He never gave players the security they needed and that showed up in the results. Now, he is trying to make excuses, but the fact remains that he was an unsuccessful coach," Biswal opined.
Biswal also took a swipe at Chappell's attitude. "When you play in a team, everybody has to share responsibility and everybody has a role in success and failure. During Greg's time, his favouritism didn't go down well with the team. It created a rift. It is not Ganguly who should be blamed for their stand-off, but Greg himself," the current Orissa Cricket Association president said.
While working as a selector in two different phases -- one with Kiran More and another with Dilip Vengsarkar -- Biswal found it difficult to deal with Chappell. "The coach and captain are ex-officio members of the selection meeting, but Greg wanted to call the shots in terms of selecting a captain or player, which wasn't approved by any of the committees," he felt.