Greg Chappell has hit back at Sachin Tendulkar's claims that the Aussie coach had wanted to remove Rahul Dravid ahead of the 2007 World Cup. Talking to an Australian cricket website on Tuesday, Chappell said he never contemplated Tendulkar replacing Dravid as captain.
In his autobiography - Playing it My Way - which will be released on Thursday, Tendulkar has claimed that Chappell, then Team India coach, visited him at his home and suggested that he substitute Dravid as captain. Tendulkar has slammed Chappell's divide-and-rule policy. (Also Read: Dravid Could Not Control Chappell, Says Ganguly)
Reacting to cricket.com.au, Chappell said: "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.
"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.
"We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon together but the subject of captaincy was never raised."
"I haven't really read the excerpts of that book. Also I am not privy to any private conversation between two individuals. I have not heard about this before and I have no idea what happened and I would not want to make any comment," Dravid has said.
Chappell was India coach from 2005 to 2007. He was axed soon after India's unceremonious first-round exit in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
Chappell's tenure was quite acrimonious. Sourav Ganguly was removed as captain and Tendulkar has claimed in his book that the Australian wanted to remove senior players.
Tendulkar has called Chappell a "ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not".
"Chappell seemed intent on dropping all the older players and in the process damaged the harmony of the side," Tendulkar wrote.
"I later found out that Greg had spoken to the BCCI about the need to remove the senior players, no doubt hoping to refresh the team." (Read: India's World Cup 2007 Debacle Not Chappell's Fault, Says Gavaskar)
Tendulkar said several senior players were relieved to see the back of Chappell. This "was hardly surprising because, for reasons hard to comprehend, he had not treated them fairly," Tendulkar said.