MELBOURNE: Indian bowlers might have come under severe criticism for their below-par show in the recent Test series in Australia but head coach Duncan Fletcher has defended them, saying that the thrashing they got from the home side batsmen was due to inexperience of some of them.
Asked about his assessment of India’s bowling in the 0-2 series loss to Australia in four Tests, Fletcher admitted that the bowlers required improvement but said some of the criticism directed against them were “unwarranted”. “I agree that there is a lot of work to do with the bowlers and they must realise their responsibilities at the Test level. But I also think the Indian pacers get a lot of unwarranted flak,” Fletcher, who has often been criticised for India’s poor run in overseas Tests in recent years, said.
“For these bowlers it’s just a matter of gaining experience of bowling in these conditions. It was something that Ishant (Sharma) showed right through the series,” Fletcher said.
Talking about the upcoming World Cup, Fletcher said that the Indian players know how to win big tournaments and they can defend the title they won in 2011 as they have been doing well in all conditions in the limited over formats of late. “This will be my third World Cup as a coach and I am very excited, especially given the side we have. I think we have a good chance to win after the way the team has been building over the last three-four years,” he said.
“A big reason for my belief is our Champions Trophy (2013) victory in England. We played in very foreign conditions that did not suit the side and yet we played so well that we did not lose a single match. That shows that the side is used to winning and that’s really exciting,” he added.
He said India have played three ICC tournaments in the last three years — World T20 (2012-13 and 2014) and the Champions Trophy and they have only lost two games in all, of which one was the final. “That is quite a record to be proud of. And the team in all those tournaments was more or less the same. So, these boys do have the experience when it comes to the big tournaments and they do know how to win them,” Fletcher said.