New Delhi: Criticising Duncan Fletcher's coaching reign between 2011-15, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar yesterday said that work ethic during the Zimbabwean's tenure was "pretty abysmal" as players reported late in practice sessions.
Fletcher's India coaching stint that started in April 2011, ended on a dismal note after the World Cup concluded in March. India did finish as semi-finalists in the 50-over showpiece event but the team's performance in the Australian tour was criticised.
Ravi Shastri as Team Director has been lauded for his efforts and Gavaskar praises the current set-up as a breath of fresh air. "I think there is a lot more positivity. There is a lot more purpose to the practice sessions. And that is important, the work ethic is very very important. Under Duncan Fletcher the work ethic was pretty abysmal.
Because the players were coming in pretty late to the ground. When they came to the ground it took them 15-20 minutes before they came on to the field to warm-up and practice," Gavaskar told NDTV.
Duncan Fletcher (left) with Test skipper Virat Kohli at Sydney earlier this year. Pic/AFP
"Now under Shastri and the three coaches it has improved. It can still get better. Particularly when the team comes for the warm-up there is lot of time wasted just chit-chatting. If they can cut that time out I think they can use that time to focus more on the practice.
"But the team has certainly benefited with the new coaching team under Shastri. You saw Duncan Fletcher, he had no expression at all. Even if they would win, he would have had no expression, but look at Shastri, when the team does well he is gung-ho about it," he added.
Shastri is heading a three-member coaching staff which includes assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling consultant Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar. Gavaskar terms Shastri's appointment till the 2016 T20 World Cup as a step in the right direction.