Home > Features >

Beleaguered Fletcher should get Kumble or Ganguly to help Indian team prepare against Australia

Beleaguered Fletcher should get Kumble or Ganguly to help Indian team prepare against Australia

Duncan Fletcher’s record with India has been abysmal, with most series lost than won © Getty Images

Team India’s failures were a plenty; be it the original Sachin Tendulkar, the next batting Tendulkar or the next bowling Tendulkar. They all failed in a collective heap.

Pre-series analysis expected the spinners to scythe through the English batting in the pre-series. But they failed in their own backyard. Pragyan Ojha was the better of the spin pack and got rewarded with five-fors, although he had to work hard for that. Ravichandran Ashwin was untidy and disappointing as a bowler on whom the pre-series expectations were immense. Harbhajan Singh’s selection was unjustified; he had only himself to blame on counts of lines, length and pace. Piyush Chawla hardly put forth his case with the only match he played featuring three other spinners.

In seamer-friendly conditions, India best bowler was Umesh Yadav – unfortunate to be sidelined with a sore back. In short bursts, Zaheer Khan looked to be bowling his heart out, with years of experience speaking with the ball. But his notorious fitness worries yet again got the better of him. Ishant Sharma, however, did reasonably well on his return.

Since the turn of the millennium, India has won most matches — memorable or not, overseas or not, Test matches or not — with their batting prowess.  When a generation of batting finally entered a point of no return, reality struck painfully. It left a huge gaping hole in the middle order. The first fault being was the inefficacy to find a successor for Sourav Ganguly in the batting order that has all along been camouflaged by the genius of the other three in the ‘Fab Four’. India has shuttled between Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh with neither establishing himself.

Tendulkar’s halo has gone. Going through his poorest run of form, he has been under the pump. A cumbersome 76 in Kolkata has been his only decent return this series. In many ways, it may be one of his important innings. The same duo of Swann and Panesar, which might have had to go the Michael Yardy way into depression had he been in sublime form, has got his numbers this time around.

Tendulkar has been down many a time in the past, but he has come back strongly. It’s possibly that the passage of time that takes a toll on the body may have the final say. Having said that, we are mere spectators and adulators; we must be sensible enough to abstain from ‘doomsday’ prophecy of a maestro.
While India has a rich pool of young – and not so young – batting talent at its disposal, with a few yet to debut and a few who have around five-six Test hundreds between themselves, we must set foot towards building tomorrow’s fortress, sans Tendulkar.

Again, that requires a guiding light, in human form as the team’s coach. Duncan Fletcher’s record with India has been abysmal, with most series lost than won. The man who was responsible for turnaround of English cricket in the last decade is now feeling the heat in India. While we don’t know how much freedom he has over team selection, captain’s decisions. The coercive old man who helped the English back then, is visibly not his usual self.

Perhaps, the striking difference between the times around two sides of the World Cup is the captaincy. Mahendra Singh Dhoni can’t be entirely blamed for failure; but then, he is to be blamed for worrying more about the pitch than about what happens over it. And his Test batting, save a few good scores here and there, has been bad over a period of time. It might be a matter of time before we see a new pair of gloves behind the stumps, and play with eleven men in place of ten plus one.

Maybe it is time to for change of guard and calling in specialist coaches for every role like the England team has done. It just eases Fletcher’s position if someone like a Kumble or Ganguly step in and help the team prepare for the series against Australia.

If England were able to stage a stiff fight with us in sub-continental conditions wherein they failed twice, we must brace ourselves for the Aussie onslaught that might well come our way in February.

However, India must not lose a series before it even starts like last time. It must still stick to their guns as hosts, batsmen must go back to the nets and our spinners need to get back to their original plans of spinning a web around the batsmen.

This may seem like the weakest Test team in some time. It may give us that déjà vu feeling of being in the late ’90s. But then what followed then was a miraculous Kolkata ’01. Often, miracles happen to those who deserve it. And the present bunch needs something on those scales. Maybe it is waiting around the corner for them.

(Madhav Krishnan is a student from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Hyderabad), pursuing M.Sc (Chemistry) and B.E. in Mechanical Engineering)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: R Ashwin should play, feels Saqlain Mushtaq

JSCA to organise bowling camp for 17 short-listed candidates

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Grass cover on pitch at Rose Bowl

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Patna High Court acquits eight in former minister’s murder

Will Vijay’s Kaththi face a ban? Find out!

Fifty Shades of Grey official trailer is too HOT to handle! Can you watch it?

399 million users access Facebook every month only on their mobile phones, mobile ads account for 62 percent of overall ad revenues

Rani Mukerji shoots for national anthem with women police!

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here