Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, Pallekele August 5, 2012

India winning from tight situations pleases Fletcher


Duncan Fletcher, the India coach, said it was difficult for his side to follow-up a successful World Cup year with the same "intensity", citing India's lack of home fixtures in the past year as the reason for their poor form, after the 4-1 ODI series win over Sri Lanka on Saturday. Fletcher has had a tough first year since taking over from Gary Kirsten after the 2011 World Cup, with the team losing eight consecutive away Tests, four each to England and Australia.

He said England faced similar problems of relaxing after a successful phase and that the win would provide India with confidence ahead of home matches against New Zealand and England.

"It is always difficult after you have had a very successful year like that when you have won the World Cup," Fletcher said. "I have been involved with another side [England] that did the same thing and afterwards, after having had a successful series, to maintain that sort of intensity is quite difficult because sides tend to sit back a bit.

"One must also consider that since then we have only had one series in India. We haven't played [much] in India which is where they are very strong like any side is. I have seen other sides go away from home lately over the last two-three years and they have all struggled. We have only had that one series [against West Indies] where we played some very good cricket in India.

"Beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is very difficult. Not many sides have been able to do it. Hopefully this gives the side a lot of confidence. When we get back to India we have some difficult tours coming up and hopefully we can play the good cricket that we know we can in India."

India closed out games from tight situations in the series, and Fletcher said that was something they had been working on. For instance, today Sri Lanka needed 45 from 48 deliveries but Irfan Pathan struck thrice in two overs to seal the game for India.

"There have been problems on previous away tours [when] we have had the opposition in trouble and have not been able to make sure that we maintain the pressure on them and take advantage of that. It is something we spoke quite a lot about - making sure when we get ourselves into a situation that we maintain our concentration levels. I think it is mainly a concentration situation where they think the game is really in the bag, and with cricket today with batting orders going down all the way down to No 9 and 10, there is no way you can take your foot off the pedal until you have bowled a side out. There have been occasions here where we have had a bit of scare, where the opposition have come back at us. But it is nice to see that they [Indian team] have held their nerve and maintained the discipline that we require of them.

"I think it was a very good win from the point of view that we had had a long break [and there was] some sort of nervousness to see how they would start the season. Obviously [we were] going to arrive here a little bit unfit. We have worked on the fitness regime and the results have proven here. They have played some good cricket."

Fletcher said Rohit Sharma - who made 13 runs in five games in the series - was in poor form but would come out of it. "People must consider that he has played well for us in the one-day side before. You have a look at him when he has batted under pressure for us while batting second. So it is not a pressure situation. It is like most cricketers go through a dip in form and suddenly it just hangs in there and they are put under pressure. I am sure Rohit will come out of that situation."

Virat Kohli continued his outstanding run since the World Cup with two more centuries in the series. Fletcher said what was good was that Kohli had capitalised on his good form.

"Normally players can go through short spells where they do well and then lose that form but he has maintained it which is very good."

Irfan Pathan took eight wickets, including a five-for today, in the series at an economy-rate of 5.27 and also performed twice in crucial situations with the bat. "I think he is a very useful cricketer. He puts in an all-round contribution. He is very professional on and off the field. He works hard at his game and he has got the results that he deserves. I think he has got the potential. We just have got to see him progress from here and see how he bowls in India and bats in India. He has done a good job for us at the moment."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on August 8, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    INDIA are better odi team cause of the fact that in tests they do not feel that taking 20 wickets is possible. Once Kumble left they lost that intensiity. Thus it became obvious that their strength is in ODI ONLY. UNTIL THEY UNEARTH A PACE BOWLER and TWO GOOD SPINNERS they will never climb back to NO1 in tests.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Can someone explain what is Duncan Fletcher's contribution. The guy himself can't! Someone may be seeing something, which most of us can't. Indian fans are ready, any day, to swap Duncan with his "junior", who is currently coaching SA.

  • mythily on August 6, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Posted by Shawn_Holmes2012 on (August 06 2012, 09:52 AM GMT), @ Alex,Steve,Greg and Shawn, why many fancy names just to post the same stuff all over again in every article. Looks like SL team can't play anywhere ,then why bringing all this seaming and swinging condition talks when other teams can't play and win matches in India especially England and Australia .You need to look at your team record here before talking about some other team.all these mentioned names post similar comments under different name. I don't think you are fooling anyone here with your different names.hope you post about your own SL team dismal away record in future posts.

  • Babaji on August 6, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    @ Shawn Homes2012- How do you explain India's win in the previous CB series in 2008 if they cannot play overseas? May be you are selectively looking at India's performance.

  • Naresh on August 6, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    @shawn_holmes_2012 - You also forget that Yuvraj Singh took STUART BROAD for 6x6 in a T20 in DURBAN SA in the first ICC T20 world cup. So dont give us this trash about INDIA only win at home away. You should check cricinfo stats for all this.

  • Priyanku on August 6, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    haha how funny..some people here seems to have ridiculously ordinary logic..any fast bowler say from england or australia taking wickets on bowler friendly seaming or bouncy wickets is great it their own a sachin or a sehwag hitting a double century in a one-day is meaningless.or someone like kohli continuously hitting hundreds is ordinary.these people jst seem to hide beneath d truth that subcontinental pitches are actualy spin friendly,they seem to be flat tracks because indian batsmen are just awesome players of spin.even somebody like shane warne was smashed by player upto robin singh,forget sachin.n sehwag played him lik a school kid,hamering sixes against spin.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    According to some Aussies and Poms, the only competitive pitches in the world is Australia and England. Whenever India wins a series in Sub-continent they are flat track bullies and so when Sachin scores a hundred. When any news appear regarding UDRS, then BCCI is the culprit.

  • Sameer on August 6, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Top ranked team like Australia... The top ranked team looked hapless in the seaming conditions in england just a month ago and lost 4-0. Indian batsmen can atleast score on flat tracks. English and aussie batsmen are a failure there too. It is australias good luck that india faultered in the 2nd ODI else india wud have ranked world no. 1. Australia or england cannot be called a top team because they cant play anywhere else but there home. Though they will struggle at home in future due to lack of talent they have. England have already started borrowing players, soon aussies will go the same path :)

  • shantiratnam on August 6, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    I do not mean to take anything away from Indians but out of the 4 wins only one was convincing win. the other 3 it was all close battles. For a team that lost to England, Australia, SL in Australia and Asia Cup this series win could be considered a good performance but not at all anything close to a super performance. lot more for Team India to think. Rohit not performing, Shewag not performing, bowlers leaking 250 plus for team without Mahela and Kumar. Its more SL drop than India rise! BUT I AGREE as a SL fan we lost the series and India are winners - no doubt.

  • Arulan on August 6, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    india did well but SL was let down by poor team selection, countless bad umpiring and mistake from the board to keep preparing flat pitches after the 2nd odi. anyway, SL will come back strong. but i hope, the board picks the right players. i also think, mj is being overburdened with too much work. sanga should take over.

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