It was the evening of April 2nd 2011 that India were crowned as world champions. It was a special occasion for Indian cricket, especially for a very special man from South Africa - Gary Kirsten. It was to be his last match as the coach of the team.
The man who was given the responsibility to continue the merry path for Indian cricket was Duncan Fletcher. India at that time were possibly the best team in the world.
They were the world champions and were winning consistently almost everywhere in the world. He would be under enormous pressure to continue getting the success that India was achieving during that time.
Now almost two years after Fletcher's appointment, it would be interesting to have a look at what Fletcher has achieved in his two years as a coach.
The period from 2009 to 2011 saw many great legends of Indian cricket bid farewell to us. So, the task that Duncan Fletcher had in store for him was to bring out the young talent from India, and he has done that wonderfully well.
We all have almost forgotten the days when the Sehwags and Gambhirs dominated the Indian batting. The emergence of players like Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara is something next to a masterstroke by Duncan Fletcher.
Team India also got termed as a ‘Youngistan’, mainly because of their young stars. It is not just in the batting sector that India has been successful in producing new stars, as they have done pretty well in the bowling sector too.
Bowling stars like Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh had to leave after the arrival of Fletcher which ultimately paved the way for new bowling stars like Bhuveneshwar Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Getting a good fast bowling attack:
India has always used their spin bowlers to the fullest. But fast bowling has never been payed a lot of attention.
With the appointment of Duncan Fletcher, the task of building up an all-new fast bowling attack is moving in a positive direction. We have recently seen many seamers trying to make a mark like Shami Ahmed, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma.
Duncan Fletcher would be proud of himself after the discovery of Bhuveneshwar Kumar, who has been performing so well in the last six months. But still, the seam attack doesn’t look very settled and a lot of work has to be done on the scouting.
Duncan Fletcher’s start as a coach wasn’t the greatest. India suffered a humiliating loss to England and Australia away from home.
India could not win a single match on the England tour, which almost costed Fletcher his position. This was followed by the Australian tour, where they suffered a clean sweep defeat in the Test series.
They couldn’t even reach the finals of the tri-series which followed. But India recovered well after that winning a few important series at home and ultimately whitewashing Australia at home.
The biggest win though remains the Champions Trophy success which has finally put Duncan Fletcher into the good books.
It seems now that the good days have just begun for Duncan Fletcher, and with the path he is following, it looks likely that he is going to transform the team into a unbeatable side with some great combinations.
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