Duncan Fletcher has begun his tenure with the Indian cricket team on a triumphant note. With a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against the West Indies, his boys are assured of the trophy.
He has also had the opportunity to work and watch some of India's finest young cricketers from close quarters. Fletcher is pleased with the depth of talent in the Indian ranks.
The coach believes that India would dominate world cricket for the next five to 10 years.
He elaborated, “It is due to the amount of talent that India has. The Indian cricket is in a very, very healthy state presently. The young cricketers here have shown that they can find a way through tight situations.”
Fletcher added, “I know five years is a long time in cricket but unless some international teams suddenly come up, I don't see India losing its hold.”
The Indian coach was impressed with Rohit Sharma. Talking about his unbeaten 86 here on Saturday, Fletcher said, “It speaks of the tremendous quality that India has that a batsman like him is out of the Test side. He has shown that he can finish off an innings in the ODIs. Not many batsmen can do it.”
Fletcher feels that Rohit would figure in most Test sides. “He is not getting his opportunity because the present side is very good. I really look forward to working with him. I like to have one-to-one interaction with young cricketers.”
The Indian coach was impressed too with the manner skipper Suresh Raina handled his spinners. “I think it was good captaincy,” he said.
Raina was lavish in his praise of Rohit. “I think he is more disciplined now. He knows when to defend or attack. It has helped him that he has spent some quality time with Sachin Tendulkar for the Mumbai Indians. These days he is a very composed batsman.”
He was also appreciative of Harbhajan's effort. “I think Harbhajan has bowled very well. He has also shown great improvement as a batsman. I watched his two Test centuries against New Zealand last season.
Raina is pleased with leg-spinner Amit Mishra's bowling. “A good leg-spinner is always very useful. Mishra has the dip and his control on spin is very good. He has bowled positively and it is always good to have a leg-spinner in the ranks.”
Man-of-the-Match Andre Russell, said, “This knock is very important as it came against a side like India. I got my opportunity and grabbed it. It got plenty of time to play myself in. And I was very positive. One more over and I would have got my hundred.”
Playing his first match of the series, Russell smashed an unbeaten 92 when the West Indies innings was crumbling. His power-packed innings infused life in the contest.
The pace bowling all-rounder was disappointed though that the West Indies could not go on to win the game. Russell mulled, “We could not keep the pressure on Harbhajan. We needed to bowl in specific areas at him. Unfortunately we couldn't do so. We needed 30 more runs.”
Keywords: India's tour of West Indies