Duncan Fletcher looks forward to working with a new-look Indian squad in West Indies. “This is a young group and it is a pleasure to blood them in the one-dayers, rather than in Tests,” said the coach, on the eve of the team's departure to the Caribbean.
“I was amazed at the amount of talent around here. We are working towards winning against the West Indies. India has a plan to stay on top and this series will show the depth of cricket talent here,” Fletcher said.
The absence of nine experienced World Cuppers on his first assignment is not a cause of worry for Fletcher, with seniors either rested or injured.
Responding to a question about his views on a rotation policy to counter injuries and fatigue, he said: “I started with that in England and was heavily criticised (for resting the seniors). With the schedule we have, it is important to look into it.”
India's tour commences with one Twenty20 game at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad on June 4, and will be followed by five ODIs ending on June 16.
The team for the ODIs will be without Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, M.S. Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra. S. Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla have also been excluded.
Suresh Raina, given the captaincy, spoke about the contribution of the seniors in the tour party on his previous trip to the Caribbean.
“The last time I went to the West Indies under Rahul Dravid's captaincy, the seniors did well,” he said.
Asked about the captaincy, Raina said: “I learnt a lot under Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and M.S. Dhoni; they played with a lot of honesty.”
Raina said he was looking at the tour as an opportunity given by selectors to performers on the domestic scene.
“I am really happy that players who have done well in first-class cricket and the IPL have been given a chance by the selectors,” he said.
The squad: Suresh Raina (capt), Harbhajan Singh (vice-captain), Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), R. Ashwin, S. Badrinath, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan. Wriddhiman Shah (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan.
Coach: Duncan Fletcher.
Keywords: Team India