Fletcher: India's overconfidence gone

India

Coach Duncan Fletcher is looking forward to the positive influence engendered by former captain Rahul Dravid during India's tough Test series against England through July and August.

Coach Duncan Fletcher is looking forward to the positive influence engendered by former captain Rahul Dravid during India's tough Test series against England through July and August.

Dravid has been recruited as a mentor for a relatively new-look squad void of the services of the retired Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, who were still playing the last time India toured the United Kingdom in 2011.

Veteran seamer Zaheer Khan and stalwart opening batsman Virender Sehwag are also absent. The uncapped Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey and Stuart Binny, meanwhile, have been called up.

"People would think I have called him to help the batsmen. But actually it's as much for the bowlers. What people don't understand is that the bowlers think like bowlers. I want Rahul to talk to them and make them think like batsmen," Fletcher told <i>bcci.tv</i>.

"That way they will know what areas a batsman likes and doesn't like, which will help them a great deal in forming their strategies. The problem is that the Indian bowlers don't bat or practise batting when they're playing domestic cricket. And so, while they understand their bowling, they don't understand batting.

"Rahul can play a role right through. His approach and his character is so good. I've really enjoyed talking cricket with Rahul. I really rated him and wanted him back in the side for some time now.

"We've had some chats since he got here and discussed various ideas and possibilities. What I also like about him is that he can relate to the players culturally. Also, if a player gets the same message from more than one person, he is going to be more convinced about it."

The Indians enjoyed four-nil and two-nil wins over Australia and the West Indies respectively at home in 2013, but have since slipped to heavy defeats against New Zealand and South Africa away from the sub-continent.

"With these young boys I felt they could have been a little overconfident when they went to South Africa and New Zealand because they had done so well in India. As the series went, it made them realise that playing away from home is very difficult," added Fletcher.

"They believe that they have learned from those tours and so there is positivity in the camp but the overconfidence has gone. But again, until you actually go out there and play a game, you will never know if you actually have learned."

The English and Indians will meet for five Tests at Trent Bridge, Lords, the Rose Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval. The series opener will get underway in Nottingham on Wednesday.

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