At a time when Greg Chappell is being slammed by Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar refused to blame the ex-India coach for the World Cup 2007 debacle. Runners-up in the 2003 edition, India had suffered a shocking first-round exit in the next World Cup - in West Indies.
"I don't think you can blame the coach entirely for what happens on the field. I don't think that's fair. It is the players' batting and bowling that has to do the job," Gavaskar to NDTV.
Tendulkar has hit out at Chappell in his autobiography, calling him a 'ringmaster' who tried to impose his ideas on the players. Writing in 'Playing It My Way', Tendulkar has made a startling revelation that Chappell wanted to oust Rahul Dravid as India captain just months before the World Cup. Tendulkar wrote that Chappell suggested the two of them could control Indian cricket for years.
Gavaskar, however, feels 'aggrieved' players should have complained earlier and said, " At that time there was some rumbling about Chappell, so why did the senior players not tell the truth about what was happening in 2007 to Sharad Pawar (the then BCCI chief)?."
In an excerpt released earlier, Tendulkar had opened up about the dark days of his career in 1997 when continued failure as captain of the national side had almost led him to quit the game. Tendulkar's tell-all autobiography is slated for a November 6 release.