India in England 2014

Corrective measure to boost spirits - BCCI secretary

Nagraj Gollapudi

August 19, 2014

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Duncan Fletcher issues instructions to MS Dhoni during training, Lord's, July 15, 2014
Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni agreed to the BCCI making drastic changes to India's coaching structure, according to the board secretary Sanjay Patel © Getty Images

Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, has said the appointment of Ravi Shastri as the Indian team's director, and the reshuffle in the coaching structure, was a "corrective" measure to arrest the waning spirits among the players in England. Patel also made it clear that despite India suffering heavy defeats in the last three Tests in England, the BCCI was not thinking of replacing the captain MS Dhoni and the coach Duncan Fletcher.

Though the decision to put Shastri in charge of the team, and temporarily replace bowling and fielding coaches Joe Dawes and Trevor Penney with Indian staff, was taken by the BCCI, Patel said Dhoni and Fletcher were on board. "I conveyed the BCCI decision to both of them. Dhoni readily agreed and even Duncan has not said a word here or there."

"The team is with Ravi Shastri. Now it is his baby," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. "He will handle everything. If he asks me for any help I will extend."

Shastri's appointment was suggested by Patel, who spoke to the former India allrounder before proposing his name to the BCCI office bearers. When asked if Shastri was the only candidate discussed, Patel said he had the necessary credentials. "We looked at all options. I must appreciate that Ravi Shastri readily agreed to work in the interests of the Indian team. I asked him, 'This is a challenge, Ravi.' He said, 'Sure Sanjay, we can work out something.'"

Patel did not elaborate on Shastri's responsibilities or the division of duties between him and Fletcher. "He will do everything that is required for the team," Patel said. "They (Shastri and Fletcher) will decide the roles between themselves."

When asked what led the BCCI to create a position that had not existed before, Patel said the board felt the players would need some sort of rejuvenation after losing the Test series 3-1.

"We wanted to see what was wrong with the boys. We have full faith in all our players. To support the Indian team, this was the best option to start with. You mean to say our boys do not know how to play cricket. But mentally the players could have been upset. So we wanted to appoint someone who could also work on the mental conditioning. We felt Ravi's experience on field and off field, and his long tenure in cricket as a ex-captain and now commentator, were handy."

India's loss in all the major overseas Test series under Fletcher's watch has sparked an outcry from former India captains and selectors to sack him. Patel did not speculate about Fletcher's future. "It is premature to discuss," he said. "Right now the situation through which the Indian team is going, we have taken the first step. We are not thinking beyond that. After the completion of this tour we will review everything and then decide further action if required."

When asked if there had been any pressure from within the BCCI to think about a replacement for Dhoni as captain, Patel said: "Not at all. Our full support is with him for the entire series. I am absolute about that. I have told him that I have complete faith in him. The rest of the decisions will be taken by selection committee."

Patel also said it was incorrect to conclude Dawes and Penney had been sacked. "You cannot say that right now. We have not discussed anything about their contracts. We have just asked them to step aside. They can go on holiday, or go back home. They can even come to India if they want." Dawes and Penny were replaced by R Sridhar, B Arun and Sanjay Bangar.

The contracts for Fletcher, Dawes and Penney had been renewed as recently as April, when they travelled to Chennai to meet Patel, N Srinivasan, the suspended BCCI president, along with senior board officials. "Under the current situation we felt corrective steps were required," Patel said. "Even if I had taken a decision few months ago but if it was needed to change that now, there is nothing wrong."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by myStraightTalk on (August 26, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

If India lose the 1 day series then both Dhoni and Fletcher should be ready to resign.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 20, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

@KARKRISH, I don't know much about the Indian domestic game, surely there is a capable keeper out there, maybe not as good with the bat but good behind the stumps. That would allow Dhoni to take a step to the right, into first slip (where I think he would thrive), and become a batsman.

This means you cant then play a 5 man attack, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, 3 seamers and a spinner, what happened to Ohja (or is it Ojha)? He seemed quite a good spinner. I was very impressed with Kumar, and at times Sharma.

The problem was that Kumar was over bowled and towards the end he looked exhausted. Sharma should have been bowled in shorter spells allowing him to get more venom, when he got a wicket his pace went up 2-3mph. I was also impressed by Aaron, but again he was bowled for spells that were too long.

Posted by bobmartin on (August 20, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

The problems with the Indian team don't start with the coaches and the support staff.. They can only work with what they are given.. and what they are given by the selectors obviously isn't good enough. The root of the problem rests much higher up the order..with too much concentration on the majot money makers...ODI's and IPL... which leaves the players little or no time to acclimatise themselves in foreign conditions. Look around the counties in England and you will find players from Pakistan, Sth Africa, New Zealand, Australia, W Indies, and Sri Lanka but not a single Indian one gaining experience.. Then the powers that be wonder why the Indian team fail miserably when they play away from home.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

I personally want dinesh mongia to be a batting coach for India and please make sanju Samson captain for at least till the world cup.

Posted by landl47 on (August 20, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

Fletcher already had Dravid working with him as team mentor. If England were to win the ODI series, what would Mr. Patel do then? Bring in Gavaskar to work with Shastri, Dravid and Fletcher? And if India went on to lose the T20s, bring in Tendulkar to work with Gavaskar, Shastri, Dravid and Fletcher?

Pretty soon they'll have more managers and mentors than players.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2014, 4:24 GMT)

Are these corrective measures? time only will tell. But of late one can see that foreign coaches are faltering where as home grown coaches are doing well. An example would be Sri Lanka and Athapattu. Under his tutelage Sri lanka has moved up from 7th to 4th in test rankings. But this knee-jerk reaction by BCCI may well be to hide what ails Indian team under the cover of Fletcher. Can ravi fill the glaring gaps that are evident in the team. The reality is that the batters are not short of talent or technique, but mental strength. So really need is not just a cricket coach but a mentor who understand the human mind cognitive process and pinpoint the flaws in each player based on inter-personal interaction with each player. Right now if one were to do a SWOT of Indian team, weaknesses will occupy couple of slides and strengths hardly half a slide. Opportunities are that pass by or that which the team pass by. Clearly neither the team SWOT or match SPIN has not been worked out by coach.

Posted by YesKayR on (August 20, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

As always, those players who were not in the squad become heroes. Most of us say, if they were there !!!.eg: badrinath, U yadav, sehwag, etc .This happens only if we fail miserably.. I dont think that the team selection was a goof up.. still think that this is the best we can put up.. always there will be debate on 2 or 3 players. As gavaskar righly said Shastri cant change anything immediately..but if Indian team happens to win ODI series, everyone will hail shastri as if he did a great job. in IPL when DD was failing miserably, Richards was roped in as mentor & they won the next match. As usual our media went overboard to say how Sir Viv transformed the side. After one win, DD continued the poor form..No Batsmen has a 100% perfect technique.. in addition to technique you need GRIT and GUTS..which players like Dhoni has & Sehwag had. While itz important to stay at wkt and itz equally important to score runs also. coaching cant give you mental strength grit n guts. You need character.

Posted by sray23 on (August 20, 2014, 3:27 GMT)

If Dhoni is still capt in Aus, it will be 4-0 again. At least Eng don't have that much killer instinct that they gifted India one test match. Aussies will not be so kind...

Posted by Sexysteven on (August 20, 2014, 3:26 GMT)

Not sure Ravis influence will help Indian cricket much normal service will resume they will go home do well then go to Aussie and get hammered again for a complete clean out from top to bottom is needed for India dhonis influence needs to be stopped he's not helping the team to progress in my view Kholi has to captain for me and India have find players that they think would succeed overseas someone like samju Samson would come in to the team if I had anything to do with it in tests firsts then gradually work in into the other formats as he gets more experienced

Posted by Karthik78 on (August 19, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

India A performed better in Australia tour (both test & ODI) which included South africa as well (won the cup). It is very clear that senior team needs change or at least needs rotation of players. Unless you people understand where the issue is, the result will be same. PLEASE CHANGE OR ROTATE PLAYERS and not MGMT staff.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (August 19, 2014, 18:34 GMT)

They need to be sacked. They are the real culprit behind poor Indian team performance in the real cricket that is test cricket. They make players play on docile Indian wickets in shorter form the game all around the year and expect players to change their playing techniques overnight in foreign conditions. They don't leave incentives for players to play overseas like county cricket.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (August 19, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

Though the intent to make 'the' moves is good, I'm not at all convinced with the motives behind 'the' moves and it is pretty clear that they are going to make it half-baked. What I mean is, they are desperately pushing Dhoni (and Fletcher) to the back-burner when it is crystal clear that the team selection to field placements to bowling changes - everything is of club standard. To put in Kapil Paaji's own words, "It made me sad to see bowlers bowling to 7-2 field in test match". To put in Shane Warne Paaji's own words, "Dhoni's decisions lack any LOGIC, BIZARRE AND WEIRD. It's because of his poor captaincy decisions that India is fighting for survival in this test match. In fact, all of us in the commentary box know that and the audience in the stadium know that". As an example - starting with Jadeja and Pankaj after lunch break, starting with the same duo at the start of next day's play......Unless the Dhoni-Fletcher Combo gets sacked, all the changes and results are just temporary!

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

BCCI is very good and cover up and mudding the water. This is just an eye wash. Nothing has changed it is still Duncan and Dhoni. They have carried on with Dhoni for long thanks to Chennai IPL team and brand value captaincy brings. As soon as they land in INdia and win against Windies everything will be forgotten till the next foreign tour comes along, then bring back Shastri or a Gavaskar back. Shastri for Junior and Gavaskar for the senior...

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

India TEST team future - Openers - M Vijay, Rohit S 3 - Badrinath or anyone experienced indian player without a test cap or played 5 or less IPL games (keep Pujar and Kohil - they will be in the bench) 4 - R ashwin 5 - New player with 60+ first class avg and not a good performer in IPL 6 - MSD 7 - Bhuvi 8 - Inshant 9 - Varun 10 - Ojha 11 - any fast bowler from current team in ENG reserve - Pujar, Kohil, Saha and any leg spinner

Posted by anjisubbu on (August 19, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

next westindis series sehwag com back

Posted by JustAnObservation on (August 19, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

Thank you BCCI Millions of cricket lovers across the nation including ex-cricketers, media-men & websites like this one were fumbling to find the exact reason for defeat. In fact, this website has done humongous amount of analysis including comparing the failure of 2011 with the current one.

If it were not for the BCCI, we would have never known that the only reason for such a debacle were the duo of Joe Dawes & Trevor Penney.

I am extremely glad that Mr. Shastri has agreed to become a Director. He missed out on becoming the BCCI IPL President and also missed out on being the BCCI nominee on the Mudgal Committee. Finally, he has got the opportunity to work wonders for the 'BCCI'. Mercifully, the BCCI ignored past greats like Wadekar, Vengsarkar, Bedi, Prasanna, etc and have stuck to Shastri (the only other candidate considered would have been Gavaskar).

I am certain that Mr. Patel would have taken the expert opinion of the (harshly exiled) BCCI President & ignored the ex-cricketers.

Posted by Makkumatr on (August 19, 2014, 15:50 GMT)

This is the time to bring back Badrinath into the team, he would have fared great under tough English conditions. In fact, it would've been a smart move to make him captain and bring him, we would've definitely won more.

Posted by D.Sharma on (August 19, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

This is wrong. They are targeting the wrong people. Team management can only do so much. It's the players fault. Every time India gets thrashed there are always people from management getting sacked. There's no fight in the youngsters. I'm not saying that team management aren't to blame (of course they play a part in it too) but it's the players that ultimately need to apply themselves on the pitch.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

Now this all making some sense to me. Appointing Ravi could be a masterstroke and our batsmen may start to score more and stay longer on the wicket. See the reason. When Fletcher was the coach, it was very cool environment in the dressing room and players liked sitting next to him because he would not say a word. But now, players would know that they have to hear shrills of Ravi and they are not few by any means, they may start applying more & more to avoid getting back to dressing room :) just me 2 paisa...

Posted by immi2711 on (August 19, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

as a PAKistani observer (not that PAK is doing any better), the problem is that the top 6 batsmen are not performing up to their full potential. They have been given status of gods and money and celebrity status, that it has affected their performance. So I agree with "cricket_heart" that all the shaking and moving must be done on the player level, coaches can only do so much. As good as Kohli and Rohit and Jadeja are, they have showed no spine. If you dont study for the exam you are not going to pass just from remembering your class lecture. It looks like some of the players just played irresponsibly & without care...and they need to understand if you do not perform at this level you do not belong here... In India I thought this would happen, but disappointed to see the boards action and reaction....Pak lets say dont even come in the picture...

Posted by glen1 on (August 19, 2014, 15:27 GMT)

Good move; hope Shastri has control over Dhoni's team selections. The team needs to man up and do well in the One-day series. Shastri should take over from Fletcher for Australia and World Cup, with an Indian support staff. Winning and Losing is not everything; it is the only thing.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

It is really surprising when people say Dhoni is all we have. Dhoni is a great limited overs Captain but he is certainly test quality. Unless we accept it Indian cricket is not going forward. Dhoni's mistakes as wicketkeeper alone are costing India dearly forget about his captaincy blunders. He simply cannot maintain the intensity for 5 days. To be fair to Dhoni, He captains every side he plays for and actually plays throughout the year. It is in the interest of Indian cricket for 2015 world cup that he quits tests and concentrates on limited overs cricket only. Infact Dhoni revealed his desire to quit one form of the game back in 2012. But apparently his commercial commitments are prohibiting him from doing so. India might just win the ODIs and then test series at home against West Indies and again all of this will be forgotten.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 14:01 GMT)

LOL... Mr Patel, whatta statement! Dhoni and Duncan readily agreed to replace assistant coaches and that has been highlighted in quotes... Its a shame on BCCI...Sanjay Bangar's association may be a positive note but in a million dark sides... Sreenivasan+Dhoni+Duncan makes a perfect crime patners where Duncan being a silent partner... Time will unfolds the masks and hope that our Dravid's, Laxman's & Dada to take the top honours in BCCI "If v need a competitive Indian team"...

Posted by cricket_heart on (August 19, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

.......Then only Indian Cricket Team should recover form this situation. Former Indian Players also can appoint as a coach , but players did not co-operate. BCCI should get out all the unformed players like Kholi, Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Pujara and replace young players routinely.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (August 19, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

The real corrective measure is making it mandatory for all Current india international players to participate for atleast 1 -2 months in the Ranji trophy. I am sure these blokes would not score runs even in the Ranji on current form. This would help the bowlers too as they would be bowling against batsmen with international experience. This should be the absolute selection criteria for a test team. The best of the best, reputations aside .

Posted by cricket_heart on (August 19, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

It is very late decision. When Indian Team fail last abroad series in New Zeland and South Africa, that time BCCI should not change the Head Coach Duncan Fletcher, but Last April renewed his contract Why?. Duncan Fletcher is not a good coach compare with Gary Kristen. Gary Kristen was a young and dynamic coach and he was encouraged young players and very close to work with senior players. After his retirement BCCI should be selected young coach ( age between 45 to 55) as all rounder like Lance Klusener or Stephen Fleming ( NZ) or Andy flower or any one. Duncan Fletcher is a very old guy, he did not closely work with young players and modern cricket trend. BCCI is a Top Class Cricket board in the world why not appointed best fielding coach like Jonty Rhodes and Bowling Coach Shan Pollock, Shan Bond, Allon Donald, Mc Grath, Fanie De Villiers ( RSA). Post is post BCCI Should consider to appoint best young Head coach, fielding coach and Bowling coaches. contd......

Posted by KARKRISH on (August 19, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

This decline for India started after Aus tour of 2007-08 and WC T20 2007 and mostly after IPL was introduced. Lets be very clear. This decline is very clearly because of influence from shorter form. I'm positive that Zim or Afg can give a good fight to India. India 1 or 2 times can surprise us all with a win, but losing 2 matches with < 200 or 100 scores only says the fluke. Lord's win was due to Prior's issues as well (keeping and batting) which Eng sealed it well. Eng's selection was really good holding on to Moeen and Jordan who proved to be more lethal.

BTW, Duncan was never a great coach for India unlike our prev coaches.

@Yorkshirepudding - you're right on Dhoni's keeping, but he's just the best available option India has, we've to live with his frailities.

Posted by Harlequin. on (August 19, 2014, 12:43 GMT)

@MrCricketFan1981 - 'a captain is only as good as his team' - damn I hate that saying, it completely disregards the psychological aspect of the game, which many regard to be as important as talent. The mental game is huge, and the difference between the first two tests and the last three is testament to that. India didn't lose their talent - which they have in abundance - they lost their heads. England didn't suddenly get better, well, JA & SB rediscovered the right length to bowl, but the attitude played a huge role. That attitude difference came from Cook, according to the commentators he was the most relaxed he has ever been at the Ageas toss, and I have no doubt some of that will have come from the 1-to-1 session he had with his coach where they will have talked about the team as much as his technique. If Dhoni brought his careless attitude into England, I reckon they would fall apart as well. Remember it was India's batsmen that lost it, and they have stacks more talent than Eng.

Posted by nithinadoor on (August 19, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

"Dhoni readily agreed and even Duncan has not said a word here or there".It is sure that Duncan is not saying anything anywhere even to his players.If he talked anything to any player,they may have improved themselves very before.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 19, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

@MrCricketFan19, FYI England haven't lost 13 tests in the last year, they've lost 7 tests (5 Vs Aus, 1 vs SL and 1 vs India) in the last year and only 8 since Cook took over 2 years ago.

I would disagree, especially considering Dhoni's Keeping has only just been better than Prior's, don't get me started on the way he watches the ball go between him and first slip without even making an attempt to go for the catch.

Posted by cricfansince91 on (August 19, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

If the BCCI is serious on future of Indian Cricket, it would cancel the home series against WI to be held before Australian tour.. The lack of fight shown by Indian players is partly also due to fact that this set of players has been playing non-stop. Australian tour should be viewed as big opportunity as the exposure there would only help our cricket instead of a home series against WI. That gap would allow players to rest, work out on game in domestic circuit and then go to Australian tour and later WC'2015 with fresh minds!! Frankly I believe appointment of an Indian Coach in Sanjay Bangar is a right step though he should have been given more powers, also what purpose would Shastri's appointment serve?? In case he is not coaching surely a former player like hime has not been appointed to look after players' tour arrangements!!!

Posted by MrCricketFan1981 on (August 19, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

@Yorkshirepudding - I think it is just you. England have lost 13 test in last 1 year, you think he went for training with Peter Moore only after losing to India. Or do you think Dhoni present during training will help India batsmen or slip catching. Batting and catching are individual talents. And the whole england team did not go with Cook and Moores. Both guys did what they needed, Cook needed to sort out some technical flaws, Dhoni needed to free his mind & some time off from the tension. Make Dhoni the capatain of england team and vice versa, Eng(MSD) will beat India (Cook) six nill in a 5 test match series. A captain is as good as the team. Agreed, from captaincy perspective Dhoni is not as sharp as he was 3 or 4 years ago, but still the best captain India have got, and certainly the best batsman in India.

Posted by bdsing on (August 19, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

We lost a bunch of the best Indian all time test players. we have not had a solid Test player representing the country since the late 90s. Faces have come and gone, none stayed. Even not the so called hugely talented Yuvraj and Rohit Sharma - which testifies the fact we have poor framework to produce good test cricketers. Doctored pitches will get good, media attracting batsmen, good in Indian wickets, but abroad if the ball does a little talking - we suffer humiliating loses, with our batsmen exposed. we have poor grass root system and with t20 becoming a priority of the Board and players(past and present),it is unlikely to see a big difference. We have never been a great touring team, of late we look worse then ever before. The game is dying, rather buried by the powers of Indian cricket. we have the money(for a change) make the changes at domestic level .Decrease t20 cricket, players need to be selected after a wide range of experience and accomplishments at domestic level.

Posted by vikas0204 on (August 19, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

under banger kings xi punjab played relly well compare to there previous ipl so fingers crossed and lets hope it will work for team india also..

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 19, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

The problems are much deeper than the coach and coaching staff, when you have players (especially the captain) deciding they cant be bothered to attend training sessions, or would rather practice football rather than slip catching, you have deeper concerns as the coaching staff cant teach you anything if you arnt there.

Lets take a comparison, England Lose at Lords, Alistair cook goes down to Southampton with Moores and spends an extra few days in the nets working on his technique. India lose by an innings and 100+ runs, Dhoni goes on a shooting jolly, while the rest of the team are training.

Can anyone spot the difference in approaches or is it just me?

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Replace duncan. He hasn't helped a wee bit for Indian Team.

Posted by   on (August 19, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

Good decision by BCCI - Hope that will bring all the experience of Mr. Shastri and make turn around of this Indian Team

Posted by SanjivAwesome on (August 19, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

Poor action by Mr Patel. A far more decisive step was necessary. It has nothing do with "mental conditioning" of the team. It is to do with the below international standard cricketing ability of our team. Instead, it should have been a simple process of a man-for-man replacement of the playing personnel - Gambhir, Dhawan, Pujara, Binny, Shammi, Pankaj, Captain - and of the head coach. The Tests have ended. ODIs are a different game. This was the cusp of change with Mr Patel sadly failed to grasp with both hands. Sigh!

Posted by Lets-bash-others on (August 19, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

" SANJAY BANGAR " is the name that was comming from all the sides to replace Fletcher.. If he provides results then " He will parmanently replace Duncan "...

Since Bangar is new to coaching, BCCI took first step by making him support staff.. And then if his work shows result then he can be a head coach himself....

After a long time BCCI did something fans wanted them to atleast try....

Posted by baskar_guha on (August 19, 2014, 9:47 GMT)

This decision suggests two issues that may have preceded it -- 1) dissension among the players that Fletcher does not know how to deal with and Dhoni cant or wont deal with and 2) Lack of confidence or even disagreement in the support coaches from MSD and the likes of Ishant. Otherwise, there is no reason to do this until after the ODIs are done. Obviously the BCCI feels the need to stop the rut from pervading the ODI team -- lets see if it helps.

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