It's me who would learn from Team India seniors: Fletcher

Published: Friday, June 17, 2011, 10:45 [IST]
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Fletcher eager to learn from Ind seniors

Kingston (Jamaica), Jun 17: The younger lot has impressed him in the ODI series and now new India coach Duncan Fletcher says he can't wait to work with the seniors in the Tests against West Indies as more than the players, it is he who would learn from the experience.

"The impact is going to be huge. It's a simple fact. More than anybody else, it's me who would learn. I may contribute in a few areas but they have a wealth of experience and it would be interesting," Fletcher said after the ODI series, which concluded yesterday with India winning 3-2 after losses in the fourth and fifth match.

India's senior players such as regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to the side for the Tests even though the side would still be without stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan due to varied reasons.

Looking back at the series, Fletcher said he wants a longer run for the youngsters than a mere four-five games.

"Five games are not enough of a chance to judge a player and his ability. Playing for India is a huge pressure and with so many talents around, you are given very few chances. They then put a lot of pressure on themselves and with the technique changes and affects performance," said Fletcher, trying to put in perspective a few disappointing performances from the series.

Men such as openers Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, S Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan and even captain Suresh Raina had an average series and the heads of a few would certainly be on the chopping block of selectors.

Despite Raina's poor run with the bat - 82 runs from five matches at an average of 20.50 - Fletcher found everything positive about the young captain. "At 24, captaining India, I don't think there is any pressure on an individual (cricketer) bigger than that. He (Raina) is still developing but I like that he got along with other individuals on and off the field. He put his head on the block (with the decisions), took criticism yet held his head high. He didn't let it drop. His body language was positive," he said.

"He could be developing into a very good captain in the future."

Similarly, Fletcher was effusive in his praise of Virat Kohli, who played a pleasing innings of 94 in the fifth ODI yesterday.

"He is a very good player, he is the future of Indian cricket. He went through a period when he was hard on himself and didn't get runs. Today he showed that under pressure he could apply his mind on the job and his innings was outstanding."

Fletcher described the loss in the final two one-day games as loss of concentration on the part of his team.

"I would like to think it as a 4-2 result in our favour, including the Twenty20 game. Sometimes when you win the series, it becomes very difficult to concentrate," he explained.

Fletcher refused to make any statement on the fitness of Munaf Patel, only stating that the tall, gangly medium-fast bowler would be fit for the first Test.


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