Duncan Fletcher
Duncan Fletcher (Getty Images)

Duncan Fletcher, the former India coach, has played a key role in shaping the current India pace attack which has matched their England counterparts and even outpaced them in the ongoing Test series, says Nick Compton.

The likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have played under Fletcher during his three-year rein and Compton, the former England batsman, says these bowlers have benefited from the Zimbabwean.

“India’s pace attack hasn’t come together all of a sudden,” Compton was quoted as saying by the PTI on Sunday. “It has taken time and it has happened one by one, as all of these bowlers took their time coming of age. India didn’t have so many pacers at once earlier, but now they do. And all [most] of them, at some point have played under Fletcher, so it is a credit to him. This process [of building a pace attack] started long ago and it has come together for India now.”

Asked about what what changes he has noticed from the Indian pace attack of the past and the current generation, Compton, who made his Test debut against India in 2012, says, “The difference from the past is that these bowlers do not compromise on pace. Like James Anderson and Stuart Broad, they retain the ability to move the ball at pace.”

At Trent Bridge, the Indian pacers took 19 of the 20 England wickets to fall in a massive 203-run win that cut down the home team’s lead to 2-1. The fact that Indian pacers have replicated the success of the likes of Anderson and Broad to not compromise on pace for movement has played a crucial role in their dominance.

“Pace. That’s the keyword. You have to consider why the likes of Anderson and Stuart Broad have been so successful in their careers. They have a thousand wickets between them in Test cricket because they move the ball at pace. And it is no coincidence that both of them started their England careers under Duncan Fletcher,” Compton, who played 16 Tests for England, said.

India’s much improved show at Trent Bridge has thrown open the series which at one point looked a distant possibility. There are even talks of India managing to engineer a comeback and return home with a series win but Compton feels it’s a difficult prospect.

“I don’t think England are out of this series just yet and winning three Tests on the bounce here is very tough for any visiting side. There will be some good, competitive cricket in the remaining matches, but I do not see India winning the series,” the 35-year-old said.