Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar stood by him during his dispute with then team coach Greg Chappell.
Ganguly, then captain of the Indian team, developed serious differences with Chappell between late 2005 and early 2006 that resulted in his removal as skipper and then axing from the Test side in January 2006.
"When I developed a distance with Chappell, Sachin stood by me. When I was dropped, I thought it was a fight between Chappell and Ganguly. When I returned to the Indian team after months, I found it was Chappell versus everyone. There was a battle of nerves between Sachin and Chappell," Ganguly said at an interview-based programme broadcast on a Bengali news channel.
Taking a dig at the former Australian skipper Chappell, Ganguly said: "He earned a 'good name' in India. He even managed to irk the cool VVS Laxman."
The Kolkata-bred former player said Tendulkar used to get upset when he was criticised. "Like any other human being, he used to get affected by criticism, but never showed it publicly".
Ganguly, who shared the Indian dressing room with Tendulkar for over a decade, said the little master shook off his on-field reticence in the dressing room.
"There he used to be much more open. He was a very good mixer. We have spent so much time together. Sometimes we used to stay together for six months at a stretch. Off the field, I found Tendulkar was like any other average middle class man."