Duncan Fletcher, the former Zimbabwean captain, was appointed as Team India’s coach on 27th April, 2011 as a replacement to Gary Kirsten, India’s World Cup winning coach. He was selected ahead of Stephen Fleming and Andy Flower.
His reputation as a coach flourished when he was the coach of England. He brought them from the bottom to the top of the test rankings between the years 2000 and 2007. He was the coach of England team when they won the Ashes after 18 long years. These might have been the reasons for choosing Fletcher as the coach of Team India.
The 62-year old Zimbabwean’s first assignment was the England series. India went into that series as the World Champions and the reigning number 1 test team, but lost not only all four test matches but also lost their number one position in tests. Following this, they also lost the ODI series 3-0. No one could call it a perfect start for Fletcher.
Then came the all important Australian series in late December, 2011. However, that series brought no change in the fortunes of Fletcher either, as they again lost all their test matches to Aussies, making it an overall 0-8 overseas test record for the coach. Added to that their failure to qualify for the finals of CB series, and many started questioning the 62-year old Fletcher’s capabilities as a coach.
The wound deepened further when defending Asia Cup champions India failed to even make it to the finals of Asia Cup 2012. However, a few victories came India’s way when they defeated Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and whitewashed the Kiwis in the recently-concluded test matches in India. However, these could not hide his earlier failures as India coach.
He was hailed as the best man-manager, but seems to have failed in that department too, as dressing room conflicts are becoming commonplace in the Indian side these days. His two-year contract will end later this year when India will face England, and there is no point in keeping him the coach of Team India even if we whitewash the English.
It is high time for the BCCI to look for a new coach for the team, and on this occasion give the opportunity to an Indian. We have several legends like Saurav Ganguly and Kapil Dev with us, which leaves no reason for us to look outside.
Saurav Ganguly has even agreed to become the coach of Team India if asked to. In my opinion, the combination of Dada and Mahi will work work wonders for the team. We know that both of them were the best captains India has ever produced. Both know each other, as well as every player in dressing room, quite well and also have similar mind-sets. Both are aggressive at times, while calm and composed otherwise.
If the combination of Dada as coach and Mahi as captain works, then India will be on top of the table in every format.