When Duncan Fletcher succeeded Gary Kirsten as India coach he inherited the number one ranked Test team who had just added the ODI World Cup to their list of accomplishments. In the eight months since, India eked out a narrow away series win over a weakened West Indies, lost four straight Tests in England, and now stand on the brink of their sixth straight away Test loss.
How much could change in so short a period of time? Not much, according to the Zimbabwean. "I don't think much has changed. I had long chats with Gary. I am very friendly with him. The approach, how you deal with an Indian side, we haven't changed that much," was Fletcher's response when asked how things had gone downhill since his appointment.
After his batsmen had another poor outing, Fletcher said the team was short on luck, adding that if a few breaks went their way they could script a turnaround. "The mood in the change room has been very, very good. They have worked very hard at the nets. They are putting in the effort, they are trying their best. There are just that some times in cricket we need a little bit of good fortune. If you see Sachin today, how many times do you play on from that width? Normally you put that through the covers for four. Sometimes it goes against you, sometimes it runs with you," said Fletcher.
The Zimbabwean felt Gautam Gambhir must change his mental approach rather than make technical adjustments to shake off his poor form. "We have just been working on him to get more positive. That's what is crucial with Gautam. We feel he has been quite tentative and pushing at balls instead of going out there and batting like he should. We have seen Gautam, he is an attacking batter. Today the ball he got, it would have been difficult to leave that, pitching on leg stump, going across you. It probably would have got a few left-handers out so early on in their innings."