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Why India's cricket coach must be sacked!

Last updated on: March 13, 2014 12:36 IST

Why India's cricket coach must be sacked!

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Rajneesh Gupta and Harish Kotian

India was beaten in the Tests and ODIs in South Africa and New Zealand. It never made it past the league stage in the Asia Cup.

Rajneesh Gupta and Harish Kotian investigate the Team India coach's three years in charge.

The heat is on Duncan Fletcher.

Calls for the Zimbabwean's sacking have gotten louder following the Indian cricket team's dismal showing in recent months.

India was comprehensively beaten in the Tests and ODI series in South Africa and New Zealand, and the Asia Cup, where it was knocked out in the league stage.

The legendary Sunil Gavaskar has demanded Fletcher's head and asked for another legend Rahul Dravid to be appointed in his place well before next year's World Cup.

'In Fletcher's tenure, there has hardly been any improvement as a team," Gavaskar pointed out. "There has been no improvement of players individually. Somewhere this slide needs to be stopped.'

Is Gavaskar correct in his assessment?

Under Fletcher, India have won 12 out of 30 Tests, and lost 12, including two successive series whitewashes in England and Australia in 2011-2012.

In ODIs, India fared a touch better, though the team has struggled away from home.

India's record in T20s is not encouraging: Just 10 wins in 18 outings!

Fletcher was hired to supervise India's transition as a host of senior players retired and a bunch of youngsters came in. He had done that successfully with England, but with India his plans appear to have failed as the younger players have struggled to find their bearings.

India's results under Duncan Fletcher

 

Matches

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

30

12

12

6

0

40.00

ODIs

80

45

29

3

3

56.25

T20Is

18

10

8

0

0

55.55

Please click NEXT for more on Fletcher's track record...


Image: India coach Duncan Fletcher, right, with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Rajneesh Gupta and Harish Kotian

Fletcher took England to win Test series in tough places like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies.

He also guided England to a famous Ashes triumph in 2005, its first in 18 years. Following the team's failure in the next Ashes series in 2006-2007 and the 2007 World Cup Fletcher got the boot.

'What has Fletcher done? He has done nothing,' Sunil Gavaskar asked. 'His achievements as a cricketer wasn't anything incredible. He was an ECB (English and Wales Cricket Board) reject. The ECB dispensed with his services. 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?'

Under Fletcher, England won 42 out of 96 Tests, for a victory percentage of 43. But its ODI showing under him was below par: 75 victories from 166 matches.

Fletcher's record as England coach (October 1999 to April 2007)

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

96

42

30

24

0

43.75

ODIs

166

75

82

2

7

45.18

T20Is

4

1

3

0

0

25.00

Please click NEXT for more on Fletcher's track record...


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Rajneesh Gupta and Harish Kotian

Duncan Fletcher is the fourth foreigner to coach India, after New Zealand's John Wright, Australia's Greg Chappell and South Africa's Gary Kirsten.

While Wright and Kirsten were hailed for inspiring India to greater heights, the team's fortunes dipped under the controversial Chappell, and now Fletcher.

Kirsten has the best success percentage in Tests: 48, with 16 victories from 33 matches.

In ODIs, it is a massive 62 per cent: 57 wins from 91 games, which also includes the 2011 World Cup triumph.

Please click NEXT for a comparison of India's foreign coaches...


Image: Gary Kirsten celebrates with the Indian team after winning the 2011 World Cup.
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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John Wright was India's first foreign coach, and an instant favourite among the players, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and fans.

Along with captain Sourav Ganguly he embarked on a mission to improve India's performances in away Tests, and laid the foundation for the country's emergence as a powerhouse in world cricket, both at home and away.

Greg Chappell, an incredible batsman in his time, never settled during his tenure after a run-in with senior players and was forced to quit following India's dismal showing in the 2007 World Cup.

Fletcher's record in Tests and ODIs may look better than Wright's, but the team has underperformed under him.

The focus under Fletcher and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been winning at home on doctored pitches to make up for 'away' losses.

India's record under foreign coaches

John Wright (November 2000 to April 2005)

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

51

20

15

16

0

39.21

ODIs

130

68

56

6

0

52.31

T20Is

-

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Chappell (June 2005 to April 2007)

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

18

7

4

7

0

38.88

ODIs

62

32

27

3

0

51.61

T20Is

1

1

0

0

0

100.00

 Gary Kirsten (March 2008 to April 2011)

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

33

16

6

11

0

48.48

ODIs

91

57

29

4

1

62.63

T20Is

18

9

9

0

0

50.00

(Note: Kirsten officially took over as India's coach n March 2008, though he had been appointed on December 4, 2007.)

Duncan Fletcher (April 2011 onwards)

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

30

12

12

6

0

40.00

ODIs

80

45

29

3

3

56.25

T20Is

18

10

8

0

0

55.55

Please click NEXT for a comparision of Gary Kristen and Duncan Fletcher's India performances...


Image: John Wright, left, speaks to Gary Kirsten
Photographs: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

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Rajneesh Gupta and Harish Kotian

A comparison of Duncan Fletcher and Gary Kirsten's home and away records reveals a lot.

Most telling is the away record.

Under Kirsten, India won six out of 14 away Tests.

Under Fletcher, India has just one victory in 15 away Tests.

In ODIs, Kirsten's record, both at home and away, is better than Fletcher's.

India's record under Gary Kirsten at home

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

19

10

2

7

0

52.63

ODIs

33

24

7

1

1

72.72

T20Is

2

1

1

0

0

50.00

India's record under Gary Kirsten away from home

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

14

6

4

4

0

48.48

ODIs

58

33

22

3

0

56.89

T20Is

16

8

8

0

0

50.00

India's record under Duncan Fletcher at home

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

15

11

2

2

0

73.33

ODIs

27

18

8

1

0

66.66

T20Is

7

3

4

0

0

42.85

India's record under Duncan Fletcher away from home

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn*

Tied

Won %

Tests

15

1

10

4

0

6.66

ODIs

53

27

21

2

3

50.94

T20Is

11

7

4

0

0

63.63

* No result in case of ODIs & T20s

 


Image: India coach Duncan Fletcher, in action.
Photographs: Martin Hunter/Getty Images
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