Veteran batsman Suresh Raina, in his upcoming autobiography, Believe, What Life and Cricket Taught Me, lauded former Team India head coach Greg Chappell. The southpaw pointed out the impact the former Australian captain had on the Indian team, especially when it came to chasing big totals.
Chappell’s stint with Team India (2005-07) was marred by controversy. He came under the scanner for the way he handled skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was dropped from the team at that time. However, Suresh Raina highlighted the positive impact Chappell had on that generation of players.
“In my opinion, Greg deserves a lot of credit for shaping that generation of Indian players. The fruits of the seeds he had sown were seen much later when we won the 2011 World Cup. I think somewhere along the line, despite all the controversies around his coaching career, he taught India how to win and the importance of winning, “wrote Raina.
Raina made his senior debut under Chappell in 2005. The likes of MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh also blossomed under him and evolved into match winners. Men in Blue were considered as nervous run chasers back in the ’90s and 2000s. However, under Chappell, Team India emerged as a small team while chasing daunting totals.
After Ganguly was axed from the team, Rahul Dravid was appointed as captain of the team. Under him, India won 14 games on the trot while chasing. Raina lauded Dravid and Chappell for changing the face of Indian cricket.
“He (Greg Chappell) taught us to chase totals. We were all playing well at that point, but I remember him stressing a lot about breaking down run chases at batting meetings. The credit for that goes to both Greg and Rahul Bhai,” he added.
“Eventually, the batting order was fixed very well —Yuvi, Dhoni, and me. By then, we had learnt how to take the pressure as well as the responsibility of chasing and winning. I picked up a lot of lessons from Greg,” Raina further wrote.