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Fletcher eager to work with India seniors

Last updated on: June 17, 2011 16:27 IST

It's me who would learn from Team India seniors: Fletcher

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The younger lot has impressed him in the ODI series and now new India coach Duncan Fletcher says he can't wait to work with the seniors in the Tests against the West Indies, as more than the players it is he who would learn from the experience.

"The impact is going to be huge. It's a simple fact. More than anybody else, it's me who would learn. I may contribute in a few areas but they have a wealth of experience and it would be interesting," Fletcher said after the ODI series, which concluded on Thursday with India winning 3-2 after losses in the fourth and fifth match.

Regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to the side for the Tests, even though it will still be without stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan due to varied reasons.


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Reuters
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'Five games are not enough of a chance to judge a player'

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Looking back at the just-concluded ODI series, Fletcher said he wants a longer run for the youngsters in the side.

"Five games are not enough of a chance to judge a player and his ability. Playing for India is huge pressure and with so many talents around you are given very few chances. 

"They then put a lot of pressure on themselves... and with the technique changes, affects performance," said Fletcher, trying to put in perspective a few disappointing performances from the series.

Men such as openers Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, S Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan and even captain Suresh Raina had an average series and the heads of a few will certainly be on the chopping block of selectors.

"You need a long run to learn ODI cricket. Great batsmen say that it takes 50 ODIs to learn the game. Most of these guys have played just three-four games," he said. 

"So what they learn from this experience is going to be key for their development."


Image: Duncan Fletcher

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'Captaincy at any level is a difficult job'

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Fletcher was equally lavish in praise of his bowlers and confident they would hold up well to the rigours of the three-match Test series, starting Monday. 

"Having played so much of World Cup and then IPL it is very difficult to say, but I feel they should be able to bowl long spells. I haven't seen any forced action and it makes you feel they will last," he said.

"Ishant, in one particular spell, was very encouraging and bowled with good pace, line and length and rhythm. Munaf and PK (Praveen Kumar) had good spells. 

"Among spinners, Mishra pulled us back regularly. Ashwin bowled very well. Harbhajan put up a good  performance," he added.

Fletcher, in his first series with the Indian team, lavished praise on stand-in skipper Raina. 

"It's not easy when you are trying to develop your game, establish yourself, and you also have to think about 10-14 other young players. It's difficult to move away. Captaincy at any level is a difficult job; your mind can wander from your game to the game of your team.

"You need to be a little bit careful. Sometimes you have a bad patch and on other occasions you put your shots together and play a match-winning innings."


Image: Duncan Fletcher

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'I would like to think it as a 4-2 result in our favour, including the T20 game'

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Despite Raina's poor run with the bat -- 82 runs from five matches at an average of 20.50 -- Fletcher found everything positive about the young captain. 

"At 24, captaining India, I don't think there is any pressure on an individual (cricketer) bigger than that. He (Raina) is still developing, but I like that he got along with other individuals on and off the field. 

"He put his head on the block [with the decisions], took criticism, yet held his head high. He didn't let it drop. His body language was positive," he said. 

"He could be developing into a very good captain in the future."

Similarly, Fletcher was effusive in his praise of Virat Kohli, who played a pleasing innings of 94 in the fifth ODI.

"He is a very good player; he is the future of Indian cricket. He went through a period when he was hard on himself and didn't get runs. Today he showed that under pressure he could apply his mind on the job and his innings was outstanding." 

Fletcher described the defeat in the last two one-day games as loss in concentration on the part of his team. 

"I would like to think it as a 4-2 result in our favour, including the Twenty20 game. Sometimes when you win the series, it becomes very difficult to concentrate," he explained. 


Image: Duncan Fletcher

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