Even as Team India is back to its winning ways with the recent ODI series win against England, and now the consecutive victories against Australia in Tests, the question still lurks whether coach Duncan Fletcher has done enough to secure an extension.
Jaywant Lele, the former secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), reckoned Fletcher should be persisted with till the South Africa tour later this year. Fletcher was appointed on a two-year contract with the Indian team in April 2011.
The Zimbabwean drew flak after India’s 0-4 drubbings against England and Australia last year. Several experts demanded Fletcher’s ouster after India surrendered to England in a four-Test series recently at home. “The Board should ask the senior players whether they want to continue with Fletcher. If they feel he deserves an extension, then fine, otherwise it is time to say goodbye to him. As far as the losses in England and Australia are concerned, Fletcher didn’t do anything differently. Now, when we are winning, he hasn’t done anything different as well.
“I think we should persist with him till the South Africa series. That result would provide a fair evaluation of Fletcher,” Lele told MiD DAY yesterday on the sidelines of the Legends Club meeting at Cricket Club of India.
Say no to foreign coaches
Lele, however, felt India doesn’t need a foreign coach. “A coach at international level is a mere guide. There are many players who are shy and afraid to talk to a foreign coach. They don’t understand what he is saying. Only three or four guys are doing the talking with the coach. I would always prefer an Indian coaching the team. The players are quite comfortable to share their issues,” said Lele, who was a part of the selection process when New Zealander John Wright — India’s first foreign coach — was appointed in November 2000.
When reminded of the past Indian coaches losing their jobs, Lele said: “It would be wrong to say no Indian is capable of coaching the team. We have had some terrific coaches like Sandeep Patil (current chairman of selectors), Madan Lal and Anshuman Gaekwad. There were no problems with them, but strangely they were never persisted with for a long period.”