NEW DELHI, Dec 2: Greg Chappell was �rigid and inflexible� in his approach as a coach and did not know how to run an international team, former India batsman VVS Laxman has claimed in his book.
Laxman, in his recently launched autobiography 281 And Beyond, reveals that under the former Australian coach team India was divided into two or three factions and there was a serious trust deficit.
�The coach had his favourites, who were well looked after, while the others were left to fend for themselves. The team had disintegrated before our eyes,� he writes.
�Greg�s entire stint had been cause for bitterness. He was rigid and inflexible in his approach, and didn�t know how to run an international team. He often seemed to forget that it was the players who played the game and were stars, not the coach,� Laxman notes in the book which he has co-authored with cricket writer R Kaushik.
Chappell�s controversial stint with the Indian team ran from May 2005 to April 2007. The book is a candid account of Laxman�s cricketing journey right from his early childhood days to playing international Cricket, to the IPL and to being a commentator.
The 44-year-old veteran cricketer touches upon a plethora of topics such as dressing-room meltdowns and champagne evenings, the exhilaration of playing with and against the best in the world, the nuances of batting in different formats and on various surfaces, the learnings with coach John Wright and the rocky times under his successor Chappell.
�Greg Chappell arrived in India to a groundswell of goodwill and support. He left the team in tatters, having played an influential part in the worst phase of my playing career. Results on the field might suggest that his methods worked to some extent, but those results had nothing to do with our coach,� Laxman asserts.
�He was brusque and abrasive, highly opinionated and rigid in his thinking. His man-management skills were non-existent. He quickly sowed further seeds of discontent in an already diffident team. I will always respect Greg Chappell the batsman. Unfortunately, I can�t say the same for Greg Chappell the coach,� he recalls.
Laxman opens up about his childhood cricketing days and talks about his difficult choice of being a cricketer over a doctor.
He also writes about his friendships and camaraderie with Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, besides shedding light on his special connection with Eden Gardens where he played the unforgettable knock of 281 against Australia in 2001. � PTI