'Teams don't need a family atmosphere to be successful' - Aakash Chopra reacts to Ashwin's statement on Indian team's environment
"The Rajasthan Ranji cricket team's dressing room was the happiest environment among all I have been a part of," Chopra said.
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Former India opener Aakash Chopra has reacted to Ravichandran Ashwin's remark on Indian team members, saying they are like colleagues and not friends. Recently, young batter Prithvi Shaw also voiced a similar opinion, stating that he also doesn't have many friends and prefers to be alone wherever he goes.
Chopra cited the example of the Australian cricket team, saying that the players don't like each other as much but they are successful whenever they are playing. He added that a pleasant atmosphere is not mandatory for a team to be successful.
"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," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
The 45-year-old then recalled his time with the Delhi Ranji cricket team, stating that the atmosphere there was similar to the Australian side. He added that it was an environment of cut-throat competition where everyone had to score runs.
"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," the former cricketer added.
I saw the opposite thing in Rajasthan when I was a part of them: Chopra
Aakash Chopra went on to say that the Rajasthan Ranji cricket team has had a contrasting dressing room environment. He added that it was the best atmosphere among all the dressing rooms he has been a part of. Notably, he was a part of Rajasthan's Ranji Trophy-winning team in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
"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.
"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," the former cricketer added.