Antigua: Impressed with the young side that has dominated West Indies in the ongoing ODI series, India's new coach Duncan Fletcher declared that given the talent, his wards can dominate world cricket for the next 5-10 years.
"It's due to the amount of talent India have. Indian cricket is in a very, very healthy state presently," stated Fletcher. India beat the hosts by three wickets on Saturday to claim an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
"I know five years in international cricket is a long time but unless some international teams suddenly come up, I don't see (India losing its grip)," added the Zimbabwean. Much of Fletcher's profuse praise, and that of skipper Suresh Raina, was reserved for India's man of the moment Rohit Sharma, who played an unbeaten knock of 86 to haul India out of the woods.
"It was a great innings. It speaks of the tremendous quality India has that a batsman like him is out of the Test side. He has shown that he can finish off an innings. Not many batsmen can do it," remarked Fletcher. "He can probably play for most international Test sides. He is not getting his opportunity because the present side is so very good. I look forward to working with him. I can't tell the areas on which I would work with him since it's a confidentiality between a player and me.
"I like to have one-to-one interaction with young cricketers. At the moment I am observing and trying to gain their respect," Fletcher added. Rohit seems to reserve his very best under Raina's captaincy as he had also hit two hundreds in the latter's first stint at the helm in Zimbabwe last year.
"He is more disciplined now. He knows when to defend or attack. It has helped him that he has spent some quality time with Sachin for Mumbai Indians. He is now a very composed batsman," said Raina in appreciation.
Fletcher felt the most pleasing aspect of India's performance has been how they have been able to extricate themselves out of tight situations. "It's pleasing how they have worked themselves out of tight situations. In the first one-day game, it was a difficult situation with four wickets down. Again today it was not easy."
"I think it was the spinners who brought us back today. At one stage we were looking at a 270-plus target. It was great captaincy (on part of Raina) to keep them on," he said. The two Indian spinners — Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh— bowled their 20 overs for 52 runs only and picked up four wickets between them.
"Harbhajan, I think bowled very well. As a batsman he has shown great improvement. I watched his two centuries against New Zealand (last winter). He has really come up as a batsman," Fletcher said. Harbhajan (41) combined with Rohit to raise 88 runs for the seventh wicket and it turned out to be a critical association. Raina was lavish in his praise for the manner in which Mishra bowled with guile and variations.
"A good leg-spinner is always very useful. Mishra has great loop and his control on spin is very good. He has bowled very positively." Now that the series is won, Raina revealed that the benched players could be tried in the remaining two one-day matches of the series. "There is every chance that we would give opportunity to a few players sitting on the bench in remaining two games," he said.
Published Date: Jun 12, 2011 08:00 pm | Updated Date: Jun 13, 2011 09:49 am