Fletcher feeling the heat

Fletcher feeling the heat

Coach blames swinging conditions for poor display

Fletcher feeling the heat

After a reasonably good outing against the West Indies, the Zimbabwean is feeling the heat following two back to back defeats against England and another Indian batting debacle on the opening day of the third Test.

“It was pretty tough and I will have some more tough days in my times, I am sure about that,” said the Indian coach as the media probed him relentlessly at the press do after the first day’s play on Wednesday.

The 62-year-old gave a series of reasons for India’s woes on their current tour of England where they are in genuine danger of losing the series and their number one ranking. Up 2-0 in the four-match series, the hosts need to win by two clear Tests to claim the top dog status.

Injuries, loss of toss, swing and seam and the list appeared endless. “It’s important that we take note of the number of injuries that we have suffered on the tour,” Fletcher began. “It is also important to recognise that when any team comes to England, especially early on, we have seen them struggle against the swing and the seam. Even when I was with England, I haven't seen the ball swing around so much for three Tests in a row.

“It has been pretty difficult for the batters and it has been very difficult for them to adapt. We haven’t been able to post a total that gives our bowlers (a chance) to bowl at,” explained the Zimbabwean whose experience of working with England seem to have done little to change India’s fortunes.

Is there a way out then? “They have practiced, there is nothing more you can do in the practicing department,” he noted. “Some are getting out there and trying to put their practice in the middle. I haven’t been involved in a series here where the ball has swung around whole day. How can you practice against swing bowling in India when there is no swing bowling? It is a matter of trying to adapt as quickly as you can,” he reasoned.

Tim Bresnan, who claimed four wickets to send India packing for a low total, didn’t think India's batsmen were underperforming. “It goes to show how well we’re bowling as a unit,” said the paceman.

“There's definitely that 'hunting-in-a-pack' mentality, and we do enjoy each other’s success. It’s good to watch your mate get four or five... or have a really good day with the bat. The Indians have not really got themselves out. We’ve bowled really well and stuck to our plans. It’s not like they’re inventing ways to get out, put it that way,” he observed.