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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Australia v India, 2015: Duncan Fletcher to coach India for final time at Test level...........

HAVING coached England to a five-nil defeat Down Under during the 2006/07 series and guided India to a four-nil loss in Australia in 2011/12, Duncan Fletcher has at least avoided a whitewash this time.
Australia leads India two-nil ahead of Tuesday’s fourth and final Test of the series at the SCG, where 66-year-old Fletcher is set to coach India for the last time at Test level.
The former Zimbabwe batsman’s contract with the Indian board expires after the 2015 World Cup which ends at the MCG on March 29.
India's Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni during the Indian cricket team's training session at the
India's Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni during the Indian cricket team's training session at the SCG. Picture Gregg Porteous
In keeping with the stance shown by India’s batting great Sachin Tendulkar in Australia three summers ago, Fletcher has made no effort to engage with the Australian cricketing public this summer by appearing at a media conference.
MS Dhoni had the media in stitches of laughter during his media conference following the drawn Melbourne Test on December 30, although Dhoni failed to mention that by the way he was quitting Test cricket effective immediately.
MS Dhoni put his bowling skills to test during India’s training session at the SCG. AP Ph
MS Dhoni put his bowling skills to test during India’s training session at the SCG. AP Photo: Rick Rycroft.
Dhoni, known to the cricket world as a wicketkeeper/batsman, trained at the SCG with his former Test teammates yesterday as he took on the role of net bowler.
An enthusiastic medium-pacer, Dhoni did the same thing before the Melbourne Test, rather than finetuning his glovework.
His nine dismissals in the Melbourne Test suggest he didn’t need to bother too much with wicketkeeping training anyway.
Virat Kohli practices his straight drive during India’s training session at the SCG. Pict
Virat Kohli practices his straight drive during India’s training session at the SCG. Picture Gregg Porteous
The laid-back days of Dhoni are over for India and fiery strokeplayer Virat Kohli is in charge.
It would be interesting to hear if Fletcher wants Kohli, who has already been fined once this series for a code-of-conduct offence, to tone down his aggressive style as captain.
Australian opening batsman David Warner, one of Kohli’s biggest rivals in the sledging stakes this summer, says the 26-year-old will be a fantastic captain for India.
“The experience that he (Dhoni) brings to the table probably gives us an edge,” Warner said of Dhoni’s departure.
Virat Kohli pretends to play warm up stick like a didgeridoo during the Indian cricket te
Virat Kohli pretends to play warm up stick like a didgeridoo during the Indian cricket team's training session at the SCG. Picture: Gregg Porteous
“But the way Kohli is and the way he goes about the game, he’s a fiery character but he goes out there and plays with his heart on his sleeve.
“That’s the way he always will play his cricket. I think he’s a fantastic cricketer.
“He has a long career ahead of him. I think he’ll do a fantastic job.
“It’s early days yet as a Test captain.
“I’d like to see if he comes out with the aggression that he did in the last Test, to see if he can do it as captain.”