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'I wasn't comfortable with Chappell'
January 19, 2009

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Greg Chappell betrayed the trust of players, but Gary Kirsten, his successor as India cricket coach, is the "best I have ever seen", says dashing opening batsman Virender Sehwag, adding, former South Africa batting star Kirsten "doesn't force things on you".

Comparing the two coaches, Sehwag, in a free-wheeling interview, indicated that Chappell tried to get him to change his batting style. "He had his view on my front-foot play, my footwork. The thing with him (Chappell) was that whatever you shared with him, it was promptly disclosed to media and selectors. He talked and that hurt the trust," Sehwag said.

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    You cut your teeth under Sourav Ganguly. He was the one who made you an opener?

    Yes, it was in Sri Lanka. I hit gold in the third match with that blistering century off 69 balls (against New Zealand). A lot of youngsters, including me, came to the fore under Dada. Remember, when he took over world cricket was reeling under the impact of match-fixing. He always backed us.

    For instance, when I was Man of the Match against Australia early in my career, he assured me that I would play in at least the next 30 one-day matches. Even when he promoted me as an opener, he told me to bat without worry as he wouldn't touch me for the next 30-35 games.

    When your captain backs you in this manner, your confidence is sky-high. He was also an extremely aggressive captain.

    Text: PTI | Photographs: Reuters

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