MUMBAI: With confusion reigning supreme at the moment in Indian cricket’s leadership, reports emerging in the media suggest that the future of Duncan Fletcher as India’s coach and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Test captain is in the hands of the Team India Director - Ravi Shastri. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials and Dhoni have been singing to different tunes ever since the appointment of Shastri and the forced ‘break’ given to India’s fielding and bowling coaches. While Dhoni asserts Fletcher is still the ‘boss’, some of the board officials have said Shastri has complete control over decision-making and even hinted that Fletcher is free to go.
Comments emanating from Dhoni’s press conferences since Shastri’s appointment suggest he isn’t very pleased with board’s decision to bring in Shastri, Sanjay Bangar and Bharat Arun (assistant coaches) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) into India’s backroom staff. But the board, according to comments made by its officials on the condition of anonymity, feels that Dhoni has crossed the line in saying Fletcher is still the ‘boss’ and that Fletcher is almost certain to be sacked, especially if Shastri’s tour report finds him incapable to revive the team’s fortunes.
“After the tour, Shastri’s report will be the most critical document for us,” a BCCI official has told the Times of India. If he observes Fletcher isn’t up to the mark, it won’t be far-fetched to say we will sack him. The same goes for Dhoni.” “It seems Dhoni feels Shastri will be some sort of administrative manager. That’s not the case,” the official added, clearing the air over who will call the shots in the ODI series against England. So evidently, there’s no sense of transparency at the moment as far as the team’s decision-making leadership is concerned. Worse still, Indian cricket seems to be heading towards unexpected Dhoni vs BCCI face-off.
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