New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday lashed out at chief coach Duncan Fletcher and called for his immediate ouster while suggesting the name of Rahul Dravid as the next coach of the Indian cricket team.
"For me, Duncan Fletcher would get 1.5 in a scale of 10 as far as his success is concerned. I believe a younger guy should be appointed as the coach of the Indian team," Gavaskar said.
"Rahul Dravid is one man who is enormously respected and is a successful captain having won series in West Indies and England. When he speaks, the Indian players, some of whom are superstars listen to him as they know how much preparation went into his game," he told a leading news channel.
Indian cricket team coach Duncan Fletcher (right) with Rahul Dravid during a practice session at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai in November 2011. Pic/AFP
The former India skipper was very scathing while talking about Fletcher's role as the chief coach since his appointment post 2011 World Cup win which has seen the performance of the Indian team go down abysmally.
"I know it's only 11 months for the World Cup and people don't want to tinker with support staff. But had it been the staff of 2011 (Gary Kirsten, Paddy Upton and Eric Simons), I would have agreed. But what has Fletcher done. He has done nothing. His achievements as a cricketer wasn't anything incredible. He was an ECB reject. The ECB dispensed with his services," a livid Gavaskar said.
"A coach has to be somebody who is in touch with the modern game and take the team forward. If Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh all stalwarts of Indian cricket can be dropped on poor form then why not drop support staff for poor performance. "Fletcher never had credentials of Gary Kirsten or John Wright, who were achievers in international cricket."
Gavaskar also said that flip side of appointing someone who had retired in last three to four years is that he might carry some "residue from his playing days" having shared the dressing room with some of the current players.
"You don't want that situation where some residue of the past can come in the way. But India does need a younger man in touch with modern game," the batting great said.
"The way things work in India is completely different. Kirsten was never the most talented cricketer but he was very successful in both Tests and ODIs. He did it the hard way and when he spoke to the players about value of hard work and training, they listened to him. You need someone with a positive outlook, with fair bit of receptivity and flexible thinking," the legendary opener said.
He said that India as a team has not improved one bit in these three years. "In Fletcher's tenure, there has hardly been any improvement as a team. There has been no improvement of players individually also. Somewhere, this slide needs to be stopped. There is still 11 months left for the World Cup. It's a lot of time and the current lot has done nothing," he fumed.
Gavaskar spoke about how Indian teams over the years got major success under former India players.
"Only successful cricketer who wasn't successful as a coach was Greg Chappell and that too for a variety of reasons. Look what we did after the 2007 World Cup disaster. Ravi Shastri (Bangladesh), Chandu Borde (England), Lalchand Rajput (World T20 in South Africa), Chetan Chauhan (manager in Australia) were there with the teams. We had an incredible year," the man with 34 Test centuries and 10,122 runs to his name, said.
"In 1983 World Cup, we had an Indian as a manager (PR Man Singh) and in 1985 World Championship of Cricket in Australia, it was Erapalli Prasanna who was the manager. Which means that we have capable people who can successfully run the team," he said.