December 13, 2012

England in India 2012

'Fletcher's stony silence speaks volumes about India's decline'

Stephen Brenkley, writing in the Independent, offers a critique of Duncan Fletcher, saying even if the India coach may not have too many powers, there are still areas where Fletcher cannot escape any criticism.

In general, it is said that India's coach has almost no power, influence or authority, all of which resides with Dhoni. But if Fletcher cannot persuade his team that it is their duty to turn up fit (as well as fit for purpose) then he might not be able to persuade them of much else. It may be that he came here with a long-term plan for Indian cricket, recognising that they needed a calm, mature voice of authority as a generation of world-class, iconic players quit.

If so, he has yet to reveal it. Part of Fletcher's deal is he does not speak publicly to the media. Nor, by the way, does he speak to them in private. This is breathtaking, considering that it is in the great scheme of things only a game, but a game that depends for its existence entirely on public support.

In the same newspaper, Mike Gatting speaks to Kevin Garside about the key to winning a Test series in India, much like he'd helped England win in the 1984-85 series.

In the Daily Telegraph, Simon Briggs speaks to those who saw and knew Alastair Cook in his formative years, in school and later as a cricketer.

Also in the Daily Telegraph, Sarah Crompton writes of the potentially exciting journey that lies ahead of Alastair Cook, who has the time to perhaps become one of the greatest England cricketers ever.

In the same newspaper, Michael Vaughan makes a case for retaining Monty Panesar after the India Test series.

In the Guardian, Mike Selvey writes of the developmental journey Panesar had to undertake before becoming the dominating spinner he's turned out to be this series.

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