Duncan Fletcher’s India team

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Having extracted our face from the dent in our desk, we did manage to catch much of today’s play, our view unobscured by tears of frustration.

What we saw was India’s bowling attack and it looks a damn sight better than it had in England. Bizarrely, the man who emerged with most credit from that tour, Praveen Kumar, is no longer on show.

Our efforts to find out where he was initially led us to believe that he’d obtained a doctorate and taken a role with the Haryana Urban Development Authority. However, it turns out he’s just been playing for Uttar Pradesh against Saurashtra, so maybe his absence is a Fletcher thing.

It’s hard to say how much influence Duncan Fletcher has over selection of Indian teams. It may be very little, but at the very least he’ll voice an opinion and for all his attributes, Praveen Kumar isn’t a Fletcher bowler. Fletch likes his fast bowlers to be just that.

Umesh Yadav is a Fletcher bowler and we’ll doubtless be seeing more of him after he took 3-23 in West Indies’ first innings. As England coach, Fletcher erred towards the workmanlike spinner, but he’s blessed with more options in India and both Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin have done enough to justify Harbhajan Singh’s exclusion. Was that another Fletcher move?

All in all, the Indian team is looking a little more adaptable and should hopefully travel a bit better. Not sure whether Yuvraj is a Fletcher player though and we’ve an inkling that Virat Kohli is.


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  1. It seems rather harsh to say this, but the exclusion of Praveen isn’t entirely surprising. He relies primarily on swing, with no pace to assist him. You have more chances of seeing Shiv score a quickfire hundred than seeing the ball swing at low pace in India. Aashish Nehra, though a little quicker, failed for the same reasons. I cannot help but feel that Nehra, had he been born in England, would’ve been one of the leading test bowlers now.

    1. I always thought it was odd that after Big Al retired from cricket he took the unusual step of becoming CEO of Boeing and then Ford. Didn’t see that one coming.

  2. Good spot on Yadav being a Fletcher thing. Though the whole country is crying out for A-n-y-o-n-e that can bowl 144 +

    Harbajan ejection a Dhoni thing.

    Who’s kind of test cricketer is Yuvi really?

    Kohli plays some great shots but I don’t like his face

    Today’s highlight: Viru’s bald spot

    1. Not sure Sehwag would thank you for saying that.

      Sehwag’s a Fletcher player. Why would he not be?

    2. Kohli is much more of a classical test batsman, while Sehwag and Yuvraj are less respectful towards things like technique and footwork (although with vast differences in their effectiveness). Just wondering if that may have anything to do with being a Fletcher player, given the emphasis on technique and patience in English batting in general.

    3. As Bedouin Chief says, it’s about effectiveness, not sticking to the textbook – hence Sehwag is a Fletcher player and Yuvraj, currently, isn’t.

  3. Yes, apparently Fletcher has a thing for pace and as I see it that’s a good thing. I love PK and hope he continues to get picked in conditions that suit him. Even when they don’t, I think he is good to have on call, simply for they mastery he has of his skill: Swing, like Ella’s Mr. Paganini – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew18e8X8nPY.

    Yuvi isn’t a test-level batsman, he has rarely looked like one. Sehwag is one of a kind, nothing like Yuvi, maybe comparable with Gayle of other recent batsmen. Rahane-Kohli-Pujara look like the middle order once the exalted ones leave. But why must they leave?!! Why!

  4. Remember when India’s bowling attack of Harbhajan, Ishant, Praveen and Mishra was made to look really, really good when they were playing the West Indies back in May?

    Food for thought.

    1. I beg to differ. As pictures of Fletcher go, that is pretty average jowliness.

      Still i suspect even given fast editing into the video of the Ketchup Song, the other members of his the band would struggle to carry him in the KC looks hybridisation theory.

  5. Umesh Yadav clean bowled 5 batsmen in this test. I don’t remember the last time an Indian fast bowler did that (maybe Javagal Srinath circa 2002?). Nothing gets the heart racing like the sight of stumps flying around.

    Going by past trends though, in two years most of his wickets will be caught at mid-off.

  6. Good to see an article not bashing the broken husk that is our mighty Australian team. Even though some might question the wisdom of taking three bang it into the pitch bowlers on conditions conducive to swing our selectors stood firm.
    Who needs a bowler like Copeland in the team anyway? This is the same stupidity that saw Stuart Clarke left out of the team in Enland..
    Also I commend you for not mentioning yet another Watson imjury. If the current desperate trend continues in Australian cricket we may have to outsource to South Africa. Apparently you can strengthen your team that way.

  7. Spot on KC! Yadav has the pace and ability to generate speed but we cant deny the fact that the team he is bowling to is WI and conditions are more or less known to him. lets see how he figures in OZ. Yuvraj is a player who is always on a roller coaster ride, a few months back he was the hero of India’s world cup campaign but now he looks very very average. a guy with lots of talent but even greater worries with form. i still believe the spot vacated by Ganguly is still up for grabs and i’ll love to see him doing well in Test cricket. and please Sehwag is a rare talent ppl he can be anyone’s type of player coz he is like no one.

  8. Dhoni ended the England tour in impressive form and his displays in this series earned him the praise of Jeffrey Dujon, the great West Indies keeper from days gone by, who referred to him as an “excellent package”, a term Dhoni though described him aptly.

    “It’s a big compliment for me. I am more of a package than a specialist. I’m neither an extraordinary batsman nor a specialist keeper. It’s all about doing things right. It does not matter how you catch the ball, take the edges and affect stumpings. It’s important to score at that point of time when it’s really good for the side. I hope I will be a specialist one day.”

  9. and while we all were busy reading this, Yuvi was dropped by selectors for next test. hmmm..KC has got an insider in BCCI working for em and on his behalf KC predicted Yuvraj might be dropped. oh so very smart of you!

  10. Rohit Sharma is a terrible replacement for Yuvi. Kohli should have been the man. Rohit Sharma does not have the right temperament or the discipline for batting in tests.

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