Suresh Raina, in his upcoming autobiography, Believe, What Life and Cricket Taught Me, heaped praise on former India coach Greg Chappell. Raina highlighted the impact the former Australian captain had on the Indian team, especially when it came to chasing totals.
Greg Chappell's coaching stint from 2005-2007 with India was marred by controversy. The Australian came under scrutiny for the way he handled skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was ousted from the team at the time.
Raina, however, pointed to how Chappell had a positive influence on that generation of Indian players. The 34-year-old believes the seeds of the 2011 World Cup triumph were sown during the Greg Chappell era. In his autobiography, Suresh Raina wrote:
"In my opinion, Greg deserves a lot of credit for shaping that generation of Indian players. The fruits of the seeds he had sown were seen much later when we won the 2011 World Cup. I think somewhere along the line, despite all the controversies around his coaching career, he taught India how to win and the importance of winning."
Suresh Raina made his international debut under Greg Chappell in 2005. The likes of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir also blossomed under the Australian coach and evolved into match winners.
Greg Chappell taught us to chase totals: Suresh Raina
India were considered nervous run chasers in ODIs during the '90s and early 2000s, and a batting collapse was almost inevitable when the team was put under pressure. However, under Greg Chappell, Team India emerged as a strong team while chasing totals.
Under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, India won 14 consecutive games while chasing, an astonishing feat for a team once considered poor chasers. Suresh Raina gave a lot of that credit to the work done by the captain and Greg Chappell.
"He (Greg Chappell) taught us to chase totals. We were all playing well at that point, but I remember him stressing a lot on breaking down run chases at batting meetings. The credit for that goes to both Greg and Rahul Bhai," wrote Raina.
"Eventually, the batting order was fixed very well —Yuvi, Dhoni and me. By then, we had learnt how to take the pressure as well as the responsibility of chasing and winning. I picked up a lot of lessons from Greg," Raina added.
Suresh Raina retired from international cricket in August last year. However, the batsman continues to play in the IPL and looked in good touch for the Chennai Super Kings in IPl 2021 before the tournament was indefinitely suspended.