Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have criticised the appointment of Duncan Fletcher as the coach of the national team, saying the BCCI should have instead picked a former India player.
"Someone like [Mohinder] Amarnath would have been a better choice for the simple reason that the core of the Indian team today is from the Hindi-speaking belt," Gavaskar told the NDTV news channel. "He would have got on brilliantly with this group as well as the seniors. It would have been a lot easier for Amarnath to understand and interact with the players.
"Apart from that he has got a fabulous record of making comebacks, he knows what it is to be down and then come back up. There is a perception and a wrong one that an Indian [coach] can be influenced and that he will get involved in politics. You are presuming that he cannot be a strong person."
Kapil said Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad, who were fielding and bowling coaches of the side for more than two years until October 2009, should have got the nod again. "Who is Duncan Fletcher?," Kapil, who played against Fletcher in the 1983 World Cup, asked the Hindustan Times newspaper. "That happened almost 30 years ago. I don't remember much of him as a player. I would like to see Prasad and Robin as coaches of the Indian team. Not because they are Indians but because they did a great job at the T20 World Cup in 2007."
The BCCI have not appointed an Indian coach since the era of John Wright, under whose watch India began to win consistently abroad and made the final of the 2003 World Cup. Greg Chappell, who took over from Wright, endured mixed results, including an ignominious first-round exit at the 2007 World Cup. Gary Kirsten, who was recommended by a panel that incidentally included Gavaskar, oversaw another turnaround, taking India to the top of the Test ranking table before ending his stint with a win in the 2011 World Cup.