Chappell hits back at Sachin, says he never wanted to replace Dravid

Former India coach Greg Chappell on Tuesday hit back at Sachin Tendulkar and rubbished the champion batsman’s claim that he had made a “shocking” suggestion to him to take over India’s captaincy from Rahul Dravid months before the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

Tendulkar has written in his autobiography ‘Playing it My Way’, due for release on Thursday, that the Australian visited his house months before the 2007 World Cup and tried to convince him to take over the captaincy from Dravid.

But Chappell said he was stunned by the claims.

“Whilst I don’t propose to get into a war of words, I can state quite clearly that during my time as Indian coach I never contemplated Sachin replacing Rahul Dravid as captain,” Chappell said in a statement.

“I was therefore very surprised to read the claims made in the book. During those years, I only ever visited Sachin’s home once, and that was with our physio and assistant coach during Sachin’s rehabilitation from injury, at least 12 months earlier than what was reported in the book,” he said.

Chappell said he enjoyed a pleasant afternoon at Tendulkar’s home and the captaincy issue never came up for discussion.

“We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon together but the subject of captaincy was never raised,” Chappell added.

In the book Tendulkar wrote that Chappell told him that together they could “control Indian cricket for years”.

“Together, we could control Indian cricket for years”, the Australian told Tendulkar during a visit to his home when he offered to “help me in taking over the reins of the side” from Dravid, the master batsman writes in his autobiography.

Tendulkar said he was shocked by the suggestion and the lack of respect shown to Dravid by Chappell.

In the book, Tendulkar is scathing in his criticism of Chappell who was the national coach from 2005 to 2007, describing him as a “ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not”.

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