New Delhi: Over the last two weeks India captain MS Dhoni, senior members of the Indian team like Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, and the BCCI have been criticised. But what about the coach? Can Duncan Fletcher escape criticism for India's disastrous Test performances?
It's no secret that Duncan Fletcher hasn't clicked for Team India as things have been going downhill since he took over. Under his tenure, India lost their No. 1 Test ranking and then they were defeated in eight consecutive overseas Tests. Dhoni & Co were beaten in 10 out last 16 Tests. And it doesn't end here. India also failed to reach knockout stage of ICC World T20.
There have calls for his sacking from former cricketers.
"I think he is a big failure. I think he should be sacked straight away," former cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar, who played 116 Tests & 129 ODIs for India, said.
Mohinder Amarnath, who recently stirred a controversy by saying that Dhoni's removal as captain was blocked by the BCCI president, also came down heavily on India's obsession with foreign coaches.
"There is a saying in India. If you are fair and white, you are fine. If you are dark, you are good for nothing. I personally don't believe in foreign coaches," Amarnath said.
The counter argument to that will be that it was a foreign coach who took India to a World Cup win as well as the number one ranking in Tests. So what is Fletcher not doing that Gary Kirsten, the man who recommended his name to the BCCI, was as India's coach?
"I am a great believer that in coaching you offer advice and don't be dictatorial in your approach. I have just come in there will be no changes as far as I am concerned," Fletcher said.
It's no secret that an India coach has to manage egos, while motivating and improving player techniques. But it seems like Fletcher has failed to do the juggling act.
"I think his reputation is on the line as well. I think, knowing someone like him, he would want to get more involved and have a say in where his own career and his own reputation is headed," Rahul Dravid said.
But then this is the same man who took England to eight consecutive Test wins in 2004 and became the first English coach to win an Ashes series in 18 years. No wonder then that not everyone in India is against him.
"We can't put the blame on Duncan Fletcher. We should not really look into excuses and try not to play the blame game and put it on the coach. Ultimately what matters is how the 11 players perform in the middle," Dhoni said.
However, it might be too late for Dhoni to support Fletcher now. According to sources, the BCCI is not expected to renew his contract that expires in March next year.