Melbourne: Duncan Fletcher's vast coaching experience and his similarity to his successful predecessor, Gary Kirsten, will hold the Zimbabwean in good stead during his tenure as India coach, believes former Australia coach John Buchanan.
Fletcher was on Wednesday appointed as India coach for a two-year term after Kirsten quit the job following a successful stint, which saw India reclaim the World Cup after a hiatus of 28 years besides reaching the pinnacle of Test rankings.
And Buchanan felt Fletcher is a good choice for the high-profile job despite his none-too-impressive career as a player.
"He shares some similarities to Gary Kirsten and that obviously is something India would like to maintain."
"He's obviously got a pretty good track record on the international and county circuits and he's got a pretty wide range of coaching experience," Buchanan said of Fletcher, who coached England with mixed results from 1999 to 2007.
"He shares some similarities to Gary Kirsten and that obviously is something India would like to maintain but he also has had greater experience, which should be useful for the phase the Indian team are about to enter into," added Buchanan, who coached Australia to their last two World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007.
The Queenslander, however, said it would be a challenge for Fletcher to sustain India's recently-achieved supremacy in world cricket under Kirsten.
"Ahead of him certainly will be the opportunity to sustain the success the Indian team have had up to and including the World Cup," Buchanan was quoted as saying by a website.
"One of the features of that Australian team from the late 1990s through to 2007 was high performance maintained for a long period of time even as a number of players were turned over and that will be India's quest now."
The high points of Fletcher's career was England's Ashes triumph over Australia in the home series of 2005, England's first series win in the West Indies in 36 years, and taking England to the third spot in Test rankings.
Buchanan has a fair bit of idea about the 62-year-old Zimbabwean's style of working, having clashed as rival coaches.
"I wouldn't say Duncan and I were ever very close. He could be a brusque character, he had great competitiveness, which could be seen as keeping to himself at times, you're in the heat of battle and so the opportunities to get to know each other can be scarce," the Australian said.
"Knowing a number of people who worked closely with him, they really enjoyed his methods and his style and the majority were generally pretty happy in how they worked together," said Buchanan as he prepares to take up his new assignment as New Zealand's director of coaching.
"In that position, if you try to be popular, you don't last too long. You need to establish your way and hope that the players and the staff and administration of that team or country buy into what you bring," he added.