India vs Zimbabwe: Virat Kohli says Fletcher's knowledge has galvanized team
Appointed in April 2011, the Zimbabwean-born former all-rounder is an important member in Team India. In spite of a short international career, the 64-year-old coach is known for being a shrewd technician.
Two men with Zimbabwean connections are part of the brains' trust in the Indian dressing room. Chief coach Duncan Fletcher and fielding coach Trevor Penney were both born in Zimbabwe and are now an integral part of the Indian team management. (Live Blog | Scorecard)
Fletcher is a former Zimbabwean all-rounder. A left-handed batsman, who bowled right-arm medium pacer, Fletcher played six ODIs, all in the 1983 World Cup. He scored 191 runs and took seven wickets. The 64-year-old has never played a Test match. Born in a family of farmers - this is common in Zimbabwean cricket - Fletcher was blessed with enormous cricket knowledge. He was England's first foreign coach and is credited with the resurgence of the Test squad in early 2000.
Appointed in April 2011, Fletcher now is an important member in Team India. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has supported him through ups and downs. And during this year's ICC Champions Trophy in the UK, Dhoni praised Fletcher's massive understanding of the game saying: "I don't have to worry about the technical issues in the team. I am free to handle the bonhomie inside the dressing room and plan for a match. It's great to have him (Fletcher) around."
Captain on the current Zimbabwean series, Virat Kohli has acknowledged Fletcher's role as well. Speaking to the media in Harare ahead of Wednesday's first ODI, Kohli said: "Guys who have played here before have shared that input, but Duncan has been a great help, not just for this series but overall since he's been coach,"
Kohli said. "He had really difficult times initially and was criticized a lot, but he's stuck with the team and stayed strong and we've seen the results now. We're really benefiting from all the experience he has -- he has the best cricketing brain in the world and just has so much knowledge about the game.
"Him and Trevor Penney are both really excited to be here because they haven't been here for a while, so it's a good feeling to have both of them who've played here, helping us in that department."
Fletcher is expected to stay put as India's coach till the 2015 World Cup.