Aakash Chopra opines that a harmonious environment is not necessary for a team to succeed after R Ashwin‘s statement on Indian team. R Ashwin recently stated that the players of the current Indian squad are more like coworkers than buddies, and shortly after, Prithvi Shaw agreed to it. Meanwhile, AB de Villiers recently asserted that players are not required to get along well in order for the team to be successful. He used the case of the Australian team from the 1990s and the early 2000s as support.
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra agreed with AB De Villiers’ assertions and further explained,
“He said the absolutely correct thing as the successful Australian team, they didn’t really like each other as much, which is okay, but they were unstoppable as soon as they entered the ground. This happens in not one but a lot of teams. Teams don’t need to have a family atmosphere for them to be successful.”
When reflecting on his experience with the Delhi Ranji squad, the former Indian opener said,
“I played for many years for Delhi. My extremely close friends were also part of that dressing room but the overriding feeling was that you are on your own – do your own job and everyone was trying to move forward. It was an atmosphere of cut-throat competition where you want everyone to score runs but yourself to score the most.”
Aakash Chopra also emphasized that the Rajasthan Ranji Trophy-winning squad had a different vibe in the locker room, stating,
“I saw the opposite thing in Rajasthan when I was a part of them for two-three years. There I saw everyone was happier when the guy next to them was happy. This was the happiest environment among all the dressing rooms I have been a part of.”
He further added,
“What is the difference? Both were extremely successful dressing rooms. Delhi was probably slightly less successful because we won only one Ranji Trophy and Rajasthan won two successive years. You are either a part of an extremely successful dressing room or a dressing room that has a lot of successful people.”
Chopra said that the Royal Challengers Bangalore may be such squad with a few alpha guys, citing Yuzvendra Chahal‘s admission that no retention talk had been had with him. Meanwhile, he noted that the Chennai Super Kings’ secret to success appears to be their ability to play as a cohesive unit, even with the presence of a superstar like MS Dhoni.