rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » Meet Duncan Fletcher, Team India's new coach

Meet Duncan Fletcher, Team India's new coach

Last updated on: April 28, 2011 18:15 IST

BCCI were swift in appointing Fletcher as coach

     Next

Next
Manu Shankar

A methodical coach, with excellent one-on-one skills, the Zimbabwean is the ideal replacement for Gary Kirsten.

When Duncan Andrew Gwynne Fletcher was appointed India's coach, a few eyebrows in the cricketing fraternity were raised.

- 'Fletcher coaches much like Kirsten'

Yes, the Board of Control for Cricket in India was supposed to name a new man, but not this quick. Unlike the last time, when the likes of Dav Whatmore and a bunch of others were interviewed before deciding on the appointment of Gary Kirsten, who quit after India's World Cup triumph, this time the decision-making was swift.


Image: England coach Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Getty Images
     Next

Fletcher was reportedly recommended by Kirsten

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

According to reports, Kirsten himself recommended Fletcher as his successor. He identified the Zimbabwean as one who would be able to continue in a style of his own, working closely with the players behind the scenes and staying out of the limelight.

- Dhoni in Time's 100 most influential list

Thus, it is safe to say that the BCCI made a safe buy: a coach who has international experience, both as player and coach, and, like Kirsten, is known for man-management skills.

So, who is Duncan Fletcher, after all? What are his credentials to take over cricket's leading team?


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

Fletcher coached England for seven years

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Immediate memory of Fletcher is that he coached England for seven years. He played just six One-day Internationals in his national colours, which also includes a famous win over Australia, where he scored an unbeaten 69 and snapped 4 for 42 at Trent Bridge. 

He is the fourth foreigner to be given charge of Team India after John Wright, under Sourav Ganguly's regime. Greg Chappell, who had a forgettable stint with the Men in Blue, was the second foreign coach, and then, most recently, came Kirsten.


Image: Duncan Fletcher, captain of Zimbabwe, batting during the 1983 WC
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

Fletcher guided Glamorgan to the county c'ship title

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

As far as the coaching role is concerned, Fletcher took over as South Africa domestic side Western Province's coach, steering the team to titles in the first-class and limited-overs competitions.

His impressive performance as coach landed him a job with English county side Glamorgan, in 1997, where he helped the county win the championship in his first year itself.

His knowledge of the system and England's first round exit in the 1999 World Cup meant that he was promoted as the national coach, succeeding David Lloyd.


Image: Duncan Fletcher the coach of Glamorgan
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

He masterminded England's 2005 Ashes triumph

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

But the start wasn't promising, as Fletcher's England lost the South Africa series 2-1.

The first real win under him was against Zimbabwe, which England won 1-0.

It was under Fletcher that one saw the emergence of Marcus Threscothick, Andrew Flintoff and Andrew Strauss, who went on to become stars in their own right.

But Fletcher's high point came in the summer of 2005, when he masterminded the famous Ashes triumph. Besides that, there was England's first series win in the West Indies in 36 years, and taking England to the third spot in the Test rankings.


Image: Members of England's 2005 Ashes winning Cricket team and coach Duncan Fletcher (3rd from right) Queen Elizabeth II (4th from L) and the Duke of Edinburgh (4th from R) in Buckingham Palace in London at an investiture ceremony
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

He was South Africa's batting consultant till recently

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

However, a disastrous performance in the 2007 World Cup, meant that time was up for the Zimbabwean.

During his tenure with England, Fletcher took control of almost every aspect of the team's management.

Since 2007, after leaving the England job, he spent four years as an independent coaching consultant in Cape Town, New Zealand and South Africa.

South Africa's Jacques Kallis consults him whenever he needs to work on his batting, and it's not a surprise that prior to the India series he was batting consultant with the Proteas.


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Getty Images
Prev     Next

Methodical Fletcher an ideal replacement for Kirsten

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

A complete no-nonsense guy, Fletcher is also one who thinks out of the box.

During his playing days, he brought in ex-Springbok rugby player Ian Robertson to improve the fitness of the players. It worked wonders for the team, prompting Robertson to admit later that the players were better than the rugby players.

A methodical coach, with excellent one-on-one skills, he's the ideal replacement for Kirsten.

With Eric Simmons and 'Captain Cool' MS Dhoni to help him out, it should be an easy transition.


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     Next

Fletcher needs to ensure Team India maintain top status

Prev     More
Prev

More

But, with responsibilities, lie challenges too. Fletcher will have to deal with the emotions and intense media scrutiny in a cricket-obsessed country. With the likes of Sachin Tedulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman at the fag end of their careers, his main job will be grooming a set of players ready to step into the big shoes.

For now, maintaining the numero uno status in Tests and ensuring the team reaches the same in ODIs is his first challenge.

With the Windies tour coming up, and the seniors wanting to opt out of the trip, it will be interesting to see how well the Fletcher era hits off.


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Reuters
Prev     More