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Duncan Fletcher should work with former Indian players: Anurag Thakur

Duncan Fletcher will be under huge pressure after this series © Getty Images
Duncan Fletcher will be under huge pressure after this series © Getty Images

New Delhi: Aug 18, 2014

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) joint secretary Anurag Thakur is the first prominent official to voice his concern about the performance of Indian team’s support staff and felt that “some introspection” is needed regarding Duncan Fletcher’s role. “Not only as a BCCI official but just like millions of fans, I am extremely disappointed with the Indian team’s performance in this Test series against England. I think some introspection is needed in order to get back to winning ways,” Thakur said.

An executive functionary and one of the BCCI heavyweights, Thakur feels that one should seriously look into the role of chief coach Fletcher and see if some alternative options can be worked out. “Obviously, there are questions about the role of support staff after such a performance. If you ask me, I would ideally like an Indian support staff to work in tandem with Fletcher, which might help him to prepare better for the future tour,” Thakur, who is also the president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), suggested.

Asked to elaborate about his suggestion, Thakur explained, “What I feel is that a former cricketer of repute should be working with Mr Fletcher. It necessarily does not have to be a coaching role but some well defined role. We have a lot of former greats and they have an idea about the psyche of the Indian players. The focus will be on those former players who have done well in overseas conditions. “Since they have been there and done that, they can talk to the players, understand their technical problems. They can act as a bridge between the players and the chief coach. I believe a reputed former Indian player is necessary to improve the communication,” said Thakur.

He agreed that a demoralizing defeat like the ones at Old Trafford and the Oval will play on players’ minds and a good show in the One-Day International (ODI) series can change it. “The ODIs will start and right now what one needs is to lift the spirits of the players. A good performance in the limited overs is needed to boost the confidence. Hopefully, the support staff will be able to lift the morale of the team,” said Thakur.

However the Lok Sabha MP and president of BJP’s youth wing was non-committal on whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni should continue as the captain of the team. “That is a call that selectors have to take and I can’t indvidually comment on that. If there are any suggestions that I need to put forward on this issue, I will do it at the appropriate forum and not through the media,” said Thakur.

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