Former India batsman Suresh Raina had made his India ODI debut in 2005 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid and spoke about how Dravid becoming the captain of the Men in Blue side replacing Sourav Ganguly during the Greg Chappell coaching regime was a significant event.
In an excerpt shared by the Mid-day from his upcoming autobiography 'Believe', Suresh Raina spoke about how he shared tense relations with senior members of the Indian team during the initial period in the India dressing room.
Raina did not name the individuals but explained that he would occasionally receive a cold shoulder from some players upon his arrival in the Indian team. Raina has also praised Greg Chappell for his coaching in his autobiography in contrast to reports of many seniors not been happy with the Australian’s ways and his treatment of Sourav Ganguly.
"I remember one of the senior players of the team came up to me to mock me, saying that I was the only one who got all the 'extra' practice sessions as if it was only me who was going to play the match. So, I quickly asked him to join me because I had no intentions to hurt anyone. For me, ragging was no big deal since I was used to that, thanks to my hostel life. But I wouldn't say anyone ever got 'ragged' in the Indian dressing room," read an excerpt from Raina's autobiography 'Believe', as quoted by Mid-Day.
"Believe me, I know what ragging is. We didn’t have that. What we did have were some tense moments with some players. There were instances when we would greet some of the senior players in the morning, and they wouldn’t greet us back. But I never took these to heart,” it further read.
Sourav Ganguly not only lost his captaincy but was also ousted from the Indian team after his fallout with coach Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid replaced him at the helm. The Dravid-Chappell partnership was fruitful for the Indian team, who created a few records in that period.
However, the tumultuous Greg Chappell reign came to an end after the Indian team was eliminated in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies after losing to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The former left-handed batsmen informed that even though Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Dravid would try and maintain a positive environment in the team, it wasn't all hunky-dory.
"There were certain players, like Rahul bhai (Dravid) and Sachin Paaji, who were revered in the dressing room. They would try to keep things calm. Another significant change at that time was Dravid replacing Dada as the captain.
So, it was the accumulation of all these factors that led to the occasional unrest among the seniors. It was a transitional period for the team. Not every junior player felt comfortable in that situation. But my relations with Rahul Bhai were very good," the excerpt read.