Fletcher has not been sidelined: Shastri

London, Aug 21 :

Former India captain Ravi Shastri, who has been appointed the team director for the ODI series against England, said his role would be to oversee the team but added that chief coach Duncan Fletcher has not been sidelined.

Duncan Fletcher
Duncan Fletcher

“My role is to oversee everything. All of them report to me,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Shastri was appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the aftermath of the team’s 1-3 humiliating loss to England in the five-match Test series.

Besides Shastri, the BCCI also roped in Sanjay Bangar (batting), Bharat Arun (bowling) and R. Sridhar (fielding) as assistant coaches and decided to drop Trevor Penney and Joe Dawes as the fielding and bowling coaches.

Asked if Fletcher has been sidelined, Shastri said: “Absolutely not. He stays as the head coach. And these two (Bangar and Arun) will be his assistants. I am there to oversee.”

Immediately after his appointment, Shastri had a two-hour chat with both skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Fletcher to formulate plans for the five-match ODI series starting Monday.

“We had a chat about where things are at the moment and how things have to be addressed. And how important communication will be,” he said.

Shastri was critical of the manner in which the team lost the Test series.

“On this tour I saw India’s greatest ever overseas win I have seen. I know it because I have never seen a track like that and with this kind of inexperienced side, for them to pull it off… Then I also saw some spineless cricket over the last three Tests matches. People would have accepted 3-1 if there was a little more fight,” he said.

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

Shastri said what surprised him was that the batsmen were not learning from their mistakes during the series.

“My only disappointment was players at times making the same mistake,” Shastri said.

“That disappointed me. Everyone makes a mistake, but you want to try something different.”

Shastri also said he was hard on Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in his newspaper columns but hoped them to bounce back in the ODIs.

“I was hard on Pujara and Kohli specifically because they came here with big reputations. And they have been brought down to earth with their techniques being found out against the moving ball. And there is nothing wrong in that, it has happened to the biggest players. Now the true test of their character will be: how they bounce back. I have absolutely no doubt that not only will they bounce back, they will excel very, very soon,” he said.


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