Chennai: Amid speculation over the future of his job as India’s coach, Duncan Fletcher has expressed confidence that his meeting with BCCI president N Srinivasan, which was held with an eye on the upcoming season, went well and that he has the wherewithal to produce far more success than his first year has resulted in.
Since Fletcher took over ahead of India’s tour of the West Indies in June 2011, the Test team has lost eight successive overseas matches and slipped from No.1 to fifth place in the ICC team rankings. In ODIs, India failed to win a match in England last summer and performed poorly outside the country; apart from a 3-2 series win over West Indies, the team failed to reach consecutive tri-series finals in February and March.
The 63-year-old was, however, rather tight-lipped about his meeting with Srinivasan and tried to sidestep the issue of India’s poor run during his tenure. “I’ve had a couple meetings with the BCCI president and they went well. I was over here [in Chennai, for the IPL final] and had another meeting with the president this morning, and from my point of view I think it went very well,” he told reporters ahead of India’s departure for Sri Lanka. “I don’t think we can debate those issues in this forum. We had a good chat for about an hour and a half and hopefully, from my point of view, everyone has accepted a set of views. We’ll just have to see what happens in the future.”
Asked as to whether he had troubles getting along with the players or had any cultural differences coming from a western background, Fletcher was again staccato in his reply. “I’ve had a really good time and everyone seems to be enjoying the input I’ve been giving. I’ve enjoyed working with [MS] Dhoni and the team. They are very responsive. I think I’ve got on very well,” he said.
India’s next assignment is a five ODI and one-off Twenty20 tour of Sri Lanka starting July 21, and Fletcher sought to downplay the team’s poor run of form and instead talk of the weeks ahead, including the ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Sri Lanka in September.
“We’ve had a chat about it [the disappointing overseas tours] and I’ve spoken to a few officials people within the BCCI but we’re not really discussing it at the moment. I don’t think this is the forum to discuss it,” he said. “We’ve hopefully got some plans to turn things around. We’ve looked at the players’ files, they seem keen and there seems to be a very keen team spirit coming back from a break. There’s a lot of intensity in what they’re doing. Hopefully they can maintain that, go forward and turn things around.
“If you look at it, you have to work at every area,” he added. “Every aspect of it. It’s going to be very important leading up to that World Cup, so we know that the players have to get equipped to conditions in Sri Lanka. We will be back there three or four weeks later.”