Indian team under me was successful due to seniors

Updated: Feb 16, 2011, 19:17 PM IST

Former India coach John Wright said the success of the then team under him was largely due to the determination and drive of the senior players to improve and he was just a catalyst in the process on Tuesday.

Wright, who had maintained a low-profile throughout his five-year tenure from 2000-2005, was his modest self when reminded that the current Indian team was his baby.

"Oh no ... it`s satisfaction on seeing players playing to their potential. Like Zaheer (Khan) who has improved a lot now and (Virender) Sehwag. I think Gary (Kirsten) and his team and Paddy (Upton) have done exactly the same as when I was coach.

When you take over a team, you like to make progress, they have taken it to another level," said the current New Zealand coach.

"But you know I think that Sourav (Ganguly) and all the senior players Rahul (Dravid), (VVS) Laxman, Sachin (Tendulkar) really the guys drove that process. I helped with that they did the great job because they wanted their team to change and improve.

"I probably got the opportunity because of that desire from those players. It was a pleasure working with them.

Really that`s been a factor of the side for a long time," Wright said at a press- conference ahead of his side`s World Cup warm-up match against India here tomorrow.

Wright, who confessed to still following Indian cricket, had special memory of V V S Laxman because of the magnificent 280 he had scored to win a Test match for India against

Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001.

"Many times when I walk around my farm, I still think very affectionately of Laxman on moving the cattle of the sheep or something like that. You think at that time It could have gone other way. I remember Kolkata. Someone said to me I hope you got good yields. I said what you mean. I thought at that stage particularly when we had to follow on – then Laxman and Rahul turned up and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) turned it around.

"You look back on that you think well you had a bit of team talk about the batting order. You get fortunate something like that happens and then you pick up on the Chennai thing that was a bit of an adventure. So I still think very affectionately about VVS when you look back. So its great to be back here (in India)," said the former New Zealand opening batsman.

Asked about Ganguly having retired and Dravid no longer in the Indian ODI squad, Wright said, "Everything takes its course you know. India`s team for next World Cup will be different from this one. I think the players understand that,

I can`t imagine Sourav at mid-off at the moment.

"But everyone has their time players, coaches. You always got to keep moving on in sports. They have had great careers and now it is someone else`s turn. Those sort of decisions are selection issues, really."