The new Indian cricket team coach Duncan Fletcher said here on Friday he was looking forward to the challenge of guiding an in-form team amid rising expectations. In his first interaction with the media in India after taking over, he spoke about the merits of advising the players than bossing over them.
BCCI Secretary N. Srinivasan, who was present on the occasion, said, “He (Fletcher) came highly recommended. His name was suggested by Kirsten. Fletcher's reputation preceded him. It was not a very difficult decision for us to make.”
Having built strong relationships with captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan during his eight-year tenure with the England team, Fletcher said he was impressed with India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “Even before I was offered the job, I had high regard for Dhoni. He is a captain of high standing not only for his skills, but for his handling of the players on the field. Having worked with some other good captains, it will be exciting to work with Dhoni.”
Fletcher, who will be travelling with the Indian team for the entire tour of the Caribbean, said it faced three tough series — in the West Indies, England and Australia — this season. “England, in particular, has been playing some good cricket,” he said. He dwelt on the need to spend time with the younger batsmen and work with them to counter the swing and seam movement in the West Indies and England and the extra bounce in Australia.
On bowling frailties
Asked about India's relative shortcomings in the bowling department, Fletcher said, “I will hold discussions with bowling coach Eric Simons.”
The former Zimbabwe captain agreed that it would be hard for India to unearth a paceman with express pace to rattle the opposition.
“It is very hard to find and develop a paceman with real speed. It takes time. India should rely on its traditional strength, that is spin. There are some good pacemen as well.”
Keywords: Duncan Fletcher