London: Former England captain and batting great Geoffrey Boycott has welcomed Ravi Shastri's appointment as Team director. "India needed a big personality, a guy who is bold enough, a guy who can express his views clearly. So Ravi's appointment is a great thing," Boycott said.
However, the former opener was surprised that only the bowling and fielding coach Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney have been asked to 'go on leave' and chief coach Duncan Fletcher has held his place. "I can't understand why Fletcher has not been sacked yet.
Why is India persisting with him? He is supposed to be the batting expert and India fared miserably in batting. A player like Virat Kohli failed in 10 innings.
What did Fletcher do? I am really surprised that he is still around," said Boycott. Meanwhile, ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) put Shastri in charge of the Indian team for the remainder of the England tour on Tuesday, the former all-rounder has been flooded with calls from well-wishers from around the world.
However, Shastri has his feet firmly on the ground, knowing well that this is a temporary assignment. "I have thanked everyone who has wished me, but at the end of the day, it's a temporary thing. I will be reporting to the Board for the next three weeks," Shastri told mid-day yesterday.
The commentator is keen to get down to business straight away, and may join the team for India's practice one-dayer versus Middlesex tomorrow. However, he is waiting for the arrival of assistant coaches Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar to get cracking.
India's head coach Duncan Fletcher at a net session before the Trent Bridge Test against England on July 8, 2014. Pic/Getty Images
"I have been going through stats of India's previous tours to England and have found out that we didn't fare well especially in 1974 and 2011. In 2011, we lost despite having a very strong team. So it's not only this team which has come and lost here," he explained.
"I will talk to our boys and tell them to take the defeat sportingly. There is no shame in losing, but we definitely need to find out why the team didn't put up a fight. That was very surprising." he added.