Fletcher won't be sidelined, stresses Shastri

My role is to oversee everything, says the new Team Director

Fletcher won't be sidelined, stresses Shastri

The newly-appointed Team Director for the ODI series in England, Ravi Shastri, has maintained that though he would be in charge of the team, head coach Duncan Fletcher will not been sidelined.

"My role is to oversee everything. All of them report to me," Shastri told ESPNCricinfo in an interview on Wednesday.

The BCCI’s decision to bring in the former India all-rounder along with the three Indian assistants - Sanjay Bangar (batting), B Arun (bowling) and R Sridhar (fielding) - while giving a “break" to fielding coach Trevor Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes led to speculations that Fletcher’s days with the Indian team are numbered.

Shastri, however, said the Zimbabwean’s authority will not be undermined.
 "Absolutely not. He stays as the head coach. And these two (Bangar and Arun) will be his assistants. I am there to oversee."

Talking about the reasons behind his decision to accept the offer from the BCCI, Shastri said he knew he could contribute.  “The state of Indian cricket is such that I know I can contribute. I have never been scared about how tough the job is or how easy the job is. The important thing is the contribution. If I am here today, and at times some forget, it is because of the BCCI. The platform they gave me when I was a junior cricketer to play for my state and then the country,” he offered.

Shastri, who had also served as Cricket Manager when Rahul Dravid was at the helm, said he had no reservations about the job. “I insisted on the coaching staff I wanted. I went (for domestic Indian coaches) because I felt they can contribute.”

Soon after the BCCI went public with his appointment on Tuesday, Shastri visited the team hotel in London and had a two-hour chat with both skipper MS Dhoni and Fletcher to chalk out plans for the five-match ODI series which starts in Bristol on Monday. "We had a chat about where things are at the moment and how things have to be addressed. And how important communication will be." 

While pointing out that inexperience was the main reason behind India's 1-3 debacle in Tests, Shastri described the team's performance as "spineless". 

"On this tour I saw India's greatest ever overseas win I have seen. I know it because I have never seen a track like that and with this kind of inexperienced side, for them to pull it off...

Then I also saw some spineless cricket over the last three Tests matches. Spineless means (lack of) stomach for a fight. People would have accepted 3-1 if there was a little more fight. My only disappointment was players making the same mistake. That disappointed me. Everyone makes a mistake, but you want to try something different," said the former India captain.

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