Duncan Fletcher was hired as India's coach after Gary Kirsten stepped down from the role following India's victory in the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images
Duncan Fletcher was hired as India’s coach after Gary Kirsten stepped down from the role following India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images

Jan 16, 2015

Indian cricket team coach Duncan Fletcher has expressed faith in the current squad that will be featuring in the upcoming ICC World Cup 2015, citing India’s success in recent International Cricket Council (ICC) events, such as their victory in the Champions Trophy 2013, as the reason for his belief in the side.

“We played in very foreign conditions that didn’t suit the side and yet we played so well that we didn’t lose a single match. That shows that the side is used to winning and that’s really exciting,” Fletcher was quoted as saying in an interview to bcci.tv.

The former Zimbabwe cricketer added that he did not believe India were going into the World Cup without much experience, despite the fact that there were only four members of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad in the current side.

“We have played three ICC tournaments in the last three years – the ICC World T20, 2012-13 and 2014, and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.

“And people will be surprised to see that we have only lost two games in all of which one was the final. That is quite a record to be proud of,” Fletcher added.

Speaking on the benefits on India’s ongoing tour of Australia, which began as early as December, Fletcher stated that it would be a great advantage for the side to get used to the conditions and to understand the behaviour of the white ball in those conditions.

Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma, who have been excluded from the World Cup squad, have been included in the side that is currently playing the triangular series featuring Australia and England aside from India. While Fletcher maintains that the move is to give the bowlers from the Test series some well-deserved rest, he would want the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, etc. to get some practice before the onset of the mega-event.

Commenting on the Indian team’s approach towards the ongoing tri-series, Fletcher said that they must strike a balance between aiming to win the series, which would undoubtedly give them a huge boost ahead of the World Cup, as well as carrying out a few experiments in the line-up, which would not be possible once the major tournament begins.

The biggest advantage for India, according to their coach, is their ability to handle pressure during crunch times.

“Our excellent record when chasing totals shows that. The team has been led by MS Dhoni’s attitude. Most other sides can’t do it because under such pressure, you lose your cool, the decision-making becomes cluttered and you lose your way.

“Because MS is so adept at soaking in the pressure, we have done well in those situations. It is important to be calm and take the game all the way and win with maybe three balls to spare. People might say, ‘Oh, they barely got home’, but getting home is the most important thing,” Fletcher was quoted as saying.