It was on 27 April 2011 when Duncan Fletcher was appointed as head coach of the Indian Cricket Team. The Zimbabwean was called upon to fill the shoes of India’s previous coach Gary Kirsten, who led India to triumph in the 2011 ICC World Cup.
The Zimbabwean, who had gained widespread acclaim and recognition during his tenure as the coach of the English Cricket Team in the early 2000s, failed to live up to his reputation as Team India suffered major Test thrashings at the hands of England and Australia on away soil. Fletcher was highly criticised by the Indian media and cricket experts who started blaming him for turning a world class team into a rather demoralized unit.
And if that was not all , Fletcher was held responsible for conflicts in the Indian dressing room during the tour of Australia as reports surfaced that Gambhir and Sehwag were not happy with Dhoni’s on-field tactics. The controversy made the headlines and as usual, the Zimbabwean had to face the wrath of the Indian reporters.
Coaching the Indian Cricket Team can be hard. Who would know it better than Duncan Fletcher? After facing heavy criticism for Team India’s embarrassing losses, Fletcher straightened up his performance as India notched up an ODI series win against England at home and beat Australia 4-0 in a bilateral Test series at home, thus regaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
But then, it was again a hard time for Fletcher as Team India failed to qualify for the semi finals of the ICC T20 World Cup and also lost to arch rivals Paksitan in an ODI series at home.
With the ICC Champions Trophy fast approaching and Team India being marred by a spot-fixing scandal post the IPL, Duncan Fletcher had his task cut out. Being given the job of coaching a batch of young and rather inexperienced cricketers, Fletcher
proved his mettle, leading India to triumph in what could be the last edition of the ICC Champions Trophy. Fletcher soon followed up the performance with a tri-series win in the Caribbean against West Indies and Sri Lanka.
It looks like Duncan Fletcher would finally be enjoying his stay in India after all!