Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) joint-secretary Anurag Thakur has announced that he would “ideally like an Indian support staff to work in tandem with” head coach Duncan Fletcher.
Thakur’s comments come after India suffered a 3-1 thrashing at the hands of England. In fact, they sustained their third-largest Test defeat in history when they were pummelled by an innings and 244 runs in the fifth Test at The Oval.
“Not only as a BCCI official, but just like millions of fans, I am extremely disappointed with the Indian team’s performance in this Test series against England,” Thakur told PTI. “I think some introspection is needed in order to get back to winning ways.”
Many pundits and former players have called for Fletcher’s role as head coach to be closely scrutinised as India didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes throughout the series.
While Thakur agrees with those views, he added that he would like a former Indian player to join the coaching staff since they would have experience and be able to ensure that the batsmen and bowlers are better prepared for tours in foreign conditions.
“Obviously, there are questions about the role of support staff after such a performance,” Thakur said. “If you ask me, I would ideally like an Indian support staff to work in tandem with Fletcher, which might help him to prepare better for the future tour.
“What I feel is that a former cricketer of repute should be working with Mr Fletcher. It necessarily does not have to be a coaching role but some well-defined role. We have a lot of former greats and they have an idea about the psyche of the Indian players. The focus will be on those former players who have done well in overseas conditions.
“Since they have been there and done that, they can talk to the players, understand their technical problems. They can act as a bridge between the players and the chief coach. I believe a reputed former Indian player is necessary to improve the communication.”
Thakur also believes that India can somewhat make up for the agonising beating they took in the Test series by winning the ODI series and one-off Twenty20 International.
“The ODIs will start and right now what one needs is to lift the spirits of the players,” he said. “A good performance in the limited overs is needed to boost the confidence. Hopefully, the support staff will be able to lift the morale of the team.”
When asked if Mahendra Singh Dhoni should carry on as India captain, Thakur said: “That is a call [the] selectors have to take and I can’t individually comment on that,” he said. “If there are any suggestions that I need to put forward on this issue, I will do it at the appropriate forum and not through the media.”