Reflecting on former India head coach Greg Chappell‘s stint, offspinner Harbhajan Singh has claimed that his policies divided the team and played a disruptive role. Time and again, several India cricketers have criticised the time period when Chappell was in charge of the national team. Also Read - Harbhajan Singh Turns 40: Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh Lead Birthday Wishes
Chappell’s term coincided with India’s shocking exit from the first round of the 2007 ODI World Cup in the Caribbean where they suffered defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and a consolatory win coming against Bermuda. Also Read - Protests in Sri Lanka After Kumar Sangakkara Questioned For Nearly 10 Hours in 2011 World Cup Final Fixing Probe
“A lot had happened before that. When Greg Chappell came as the coach of our side, he disrupted the entire team, no one knows what was his motive when he came to coach us, no one knows how to disrupt a solid team better than him, he used to do whatever he wanted. The press wrote what he wanted, people did what he wanted,” Harbhajan Singh said on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel Aakash Vani. Also Read - BCCI to Not Sever Ties With IPL Title Sponsor VIVO if Exit Clause Favours The Chinese Company
“2007 50-over World Cup has to be the lowest point of my career, I thought we are going through such a difficult time and I also thought that maybe it is not right time to play for India, wrong people were at the helm of Indian cricket. Who is Greg Chappell and what is he trying to do. Greg Chappell had a divide and rule policy, he used to do such things,” the 39-year-old added.
Harbhajan has played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is so far taking a combined 711 wickets in them.
He called the 2007 World Cup as the lowest point of his career as the team fared poorly despite boasting of world class cricketers.
“When I look back at the team that travelled to the West Indies in 2007, it was such a great team. We were just not able to perform as no one was in the right frame of mind, no one trusted each other. When the team is not happy then the results do not go your way,” he said.
He continued, “That is what happened. Despite having such a strong team, we were out in the first round. We lost to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, they were not that big teams, it was not like we lost to Australia or South Africa. Sri Lanka played final that year, but I would still think we were a team at par with them. That was the lowest point of my career.”
“We had a solid team for the 2007 50-over World Cup, we were just not able to perform as no one was in the right frame of mind, no one trusted each other, when the team is not happy then the results do not go your way. We lost to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, they were not that big teams, it was not like we lost to Australia or South Africa. We were a very strong team,” Turbanator went on to add.