Couldn't have been a worst possible start for Fletcher
Despite having a bad start as Team India coach, the experienced Duncan Fletcher will bounce back and put India on the winning track soon enough, writes Bikash Mohapatra.
"The only way he can go is up."
This is captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni describing Duncan Fletcher's future with the Indian team. It was definitely words of encouragement that would assuage the embattled coach to a considerable extent.
It was never going to be easy to replace Gary Kirsten and match his achievements with Team India. However, for the Zimbabwean it couldn't have been a worse possible start.
In his first marquee series in charge, Fletcher witnessed his current team getting whitewashed 4-0 by his former team. If the margin of defeat wasn't enough, it was manner in which Team India capitulated that wouldn't augur well for the veteran's prospects.
Image: Duncan Fletcher with Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Bikash Mohapatra
'He will be keen for India to bounce back'
Considering he had coached England for seven years, Fletcher was expected to provide the Indian team with an insight as to ways of tackling their hosts. As it panned out, both the team and the coach were left shocked by the treatment meted out to them.
"There's no space for that sort of sentiment in cricket," reasoned Andrew Strauss, when asked if it felt bad to have plotted the downfall of their former coach.
The England captain though remained positive that Fletcher would do a good job with Team India.
"It is a challenge to coach any team," explained Strauss.
"He will be keen for India to bounce back which I am sure they will," he added. There are some who believe the coach needs some time to settle down and he should be judged thereafter."
Image: Duncan Fletcher
'All of us are going to benefit a lot from his experience'
"He has been a good, calm presence in the dressing room," explained Rahul Dravid, adding, "He is getting to know all the individuals and making an effort to spend time with each and every one.
"He is going to take some time but I am sure as time goes all of us, especially the youngsters are going to benefit a lot from his experience."
The 38-year-old batsman went to add that the team members have already benefited from the new coach's expertise.
"Some of the conversations that we have had with him, about batting and other aspects, made us aware he is someone who knows the game and has been around for a long time," explained Dravid.
"He has been witness to the various situations and he knows the players and their techniques," he continued, before cheekily adding, "We are still getting used to his sense of humour though."
Image: Duncan Fletcher
'My way is to get involved with the team'
The person in question was also asked as to what he needs to do to be successful with the Indian team in the long run.
"My way is to get involved with the team," said Fletcher.
"It's important he also gets a bit of time to study the individuals," said the Indian captain.
"He has seen the tough part. Now he will see the good part, and it can only get better for him," Dhoni added.
Image: Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni