That was the overriding feeling, after Gary Kirsten's three years Coaching tenure ended with M.S.Dhoni's huge 6 to claim the Cup. Due adulation too, for a man that had not only won the World Cup for India after 28 long years, but also had won 5 out of the 9 Odi Tournaments he had contested. Then in Tests, his record was in 8 Tests series, won 3, drawn 4 and lost just one.
Kirsten's touted replacements were very much like for like with his Coaching style. In regards to that softly softly type, who did their best to stroke the Indian egos, and never tread on toes. Instead, allowing the Indian players to continue on with their practices and never in anyway questioning the merits of them. Also to mesh in with everything that is Indian cricket, in a manner of being seen, but never ever heard
The World Cup reinforced this view of the man India wanted as a replacement. The win had covered India with a hysteria, and with it everything was seen as perfect and in order for Team India
Duly with this in mind, a Kirsten clone in Duncan Fletcher was hired to maintain the winning staus quo with the same personality and characteristics.
What wasn't touched on in the hiring, was the fact that a Coach of these qualities was perfect at the time of Kirsten's appointment in 08. In the knowledge that the bowling, that had been spear headed by Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh being in their peak. As was a veteran batting line up with some of the finest games in the games history being in its pomp.
Though in the 3 years since, all these key men in the line up had progressed into the latter stages of their careers. Kirsten, basking in their immense abilities, and in the knowledge that he was on the way out, saw no need to instigate a transition plan.
Then the current day characteristics of the Indian cricket landscape, which are so underpinned by an attitude of revenue first, even if it meant sacrificing the Teams prospects. Had taken on a form reminiscent of termites in wood. As seen in the amount of games played, the effect of the IPL and the timing of its scheduling. Then the flaws in the structure of the First Class game.
All these issues had existed in harmony during the Kirsten tenure, but three months into the Fletcher rein were bubbling over, and threatening to rip Team India to its very bone. In the wake of the mauling in the Test series against England. Which was mostly attributed to the aforementioned reasons.
It leaves India in a situation with many issues to deal with..........
That is being Coached by a man who was hired to mimic Kirsten, and just sit back and be a periphery figure. Then also with outside factors intensely encroaching on the Team. That need to be dealt with. So as both parties can find a way to co habituate with each other.
All these pressing concerns will rest with Duncan Fletcher, a man who is renowned for his aversion to any type of confrontation.
Keeping this all in mind, its hard not the be critical of the BCCI. In their choice to hire Fletcher. Not because he isn't a very capable Coach, but more because he was hired in the perceived view of the completeness of the Indian Team. So he'd be viewed as the man to take India forward, through his behind the scenes man management skills.
Rather than wake up in England today, and realise, that success will only be achieved through him making some very unpopular decisions with veteran players. Then also with this, take on the flaws within the BCCI and Indian landscape, and make them change. So as India is allowed to excel.
More sense, might have been seen in hiring a man with an intimate knowledge of everything India, and with a expertise in making changes.
Maybe even one like Sourav Ganguly.............