Chennai: Farokh Engineer cannot comprehend how India lost 0-4 again after watching their annihilation in England last year. More than the disappointment of not being given a chance to help the Indian team on their 2010 trip to England, the Lancashire-based former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman is upset that the team has not learnt their lessons after the disastrous result in Old Blighty. Engineer (73) is currently in Chennai for a coaching stint. He spoke to MiD DAY on Monday.
Excerpts from an interview:
Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer said that he was never in favour of Duncan Fletcher coming in as coach.
I expected a loss, but not humiliation
I expected India's Test series defeat to Australia after the dismal performance in England. India had to go back to the drawing board after the England tour and I don't think the effort was made to do that.
What I didn't expect was the humiliation in Australia. The opposition is nowhere near the Australian team of the past. At best, it's a pretty decent outfit. Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus are not world-class bowlers by any chance.
Batsmen caused India's demise
Our batsmen's technique let them down. They kept committing the same mistakes and this happening with the Big Four (Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman) was surprising. It is time to bring in younger players like Rohit Sharma. However, there is no need to panic. There is no need for wholesale changes. We are not a bad team. We are good but we are just not performing and the cracks are getting larger and larger.
Coach Fletcher's time is up
Duncan Fletcher is the most useless guy. I would kick him out first. I was never in favour of him coming in as coach. I knew he was never going to make a difference. The guy has no personality, he doesn't communicate properly. When you don't do that well, how are you going to get the best out of the players? I've heard this from players who worked with him when he was coach of England. Very few had good things to say about him.
No improvement in MSD's wicketkeeping
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been disappointing. His wicketkeeping was pretty awful in England and I don't think there was any improvement in Australia during the Tests. And his batting seems to have gone. He has been worked out. He's never had any technique in batting and wicketkeeping. Your eye may be good, but your technique is most important especially in the longer format of the game.
Dada's right - go and play county cricket
I like what Sourav Ganguly has been strongly advocating... the need for some players to play county cricket in England. They should be invited by the counties to start with, but I can certainly help them (the players) in that respect.
Make me part of that group...
We need a group of former Test players to help Indian cricket. I would love to be one of them. This group would not get into politics - let the BCCI handle that. I offered my services free of cost for the England tour. Nobody even replied to me.
I'd seriously consider a change, but...
I would seriously think of changing the captain, but eventually I would probably continue with him because we don't have any options. Dhoni certainly needs to improve his captaincy. He has made far too many blunders. He made a mockery of Indian cricket when he came on to bowl in the Lord's Test. His moves have baffled me, but for some reason they have come off in one-day cricket. He was acclaimed as the greatest captain India has produced, but I knew he was just lucky to get those accolades.