Greg Chappell claims the biggest regret of his three-year stint was the fallout with Tendulkar with whom he failed to "communicate" properly
Four years after his tumultuous exit as India coach, Greg Chappell has conceded that he failed to "communicate" his plans with Sachin Tendulkar during his three-year stint with the team between 2005 and 2007.
Greg Chappell (right) and Sachin Tendulkar during Team India practice.
Chappell said that his fallout with Tendulkar "was his biggest regret" as coach of India in his new book 'Fierce Focus'. The extracts of the book have already caused a knee-jerk reaction from certain sections of the media.
"My biggest regret was falling out with Sachin over him batting at number four in the one-day team. It was a shame because he and I had some intense and beneficial talks together prior to that. My impatience to see improvement across the board was my undoing in the end," wrote the former Australia captain.
"The mistakes I made were not particularly 'western' but the same kind of mistakes I'd made as a captain in my playing days. I didn't communicate my plans well enough to the senior players. I should have let guys like Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag know that although I was an agent of change, they were still part of our Test future."
"When I did communicate with them, I was sometimes too abrupt. Once in South Africa, I called in Sachin and Sehwag to ask more of them, I could tell by the look on their faces that they were affronted," he said. "Later Rahul Dravid, who was in the room, said 'Greg, they've never been spoken to like that before'."
Chappell also revealed that Tendulkar never wanted to take a day off because of the expectations on him. "If he didn't train and then performed badly, he'd have been blamed. People would notice. And there was no relief for him going out onto the streets either. He just couldn't get any rest," he explained.
Chappell wrote that once he asked Tendulkar that it would be hard to find time to keep in touch with his friends due to Indias tight schedule, to which Tendulkar replied 'Greg, you would have more friends in India than I've got.'
"This is how it is to be Sachin Tendulkar." Chappell admitted that during his tenure, he got to understand the kind of pressure the Indian cricketers lived with, especially Tendulkar. "A glimpse of them was a life-changing event... We were playing an unrelenting amount of cricket to satisfy the demand, at least 50 per cent more than Australia were playing and the pressure was beyond belief."
"Nobody was carrying that pressure more than Sachin. Not even Don Bradman carried expectations like this, and Sachin had been bearing it since 1989," he said. "When the team travelled, he would snap on his headphones, not look sideways, and shut it all out. There was a constant frenzy trying to get in at him. The energy it would have taken for him to let that kind of excitement in would have drained him dry."