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Luckiest man of Indian cricket: Duncan Fletcher gets an year's extension
India has lost 10 Test matches and won eight, lost 16 ODIs and won 25, lost 8 T20 matches and won 9 during Duncan Fletcher's reign as Indian coach. In spite of such a weak track record, the BCCI has retained the Zimbabwean Fletcher for another year.

In several tours, under Fletcher's reign, India has not perfomed as a World Cup winning side. In fact, India, which was once the best Test side as per ICC Test rankings, has slide in rankings. In this context, he should consider himself lucky to get a one-year extension in one of the most sought after jobs in world cricket.

Duncan, ever since he took charge of the Indian team from April 2011, has not tasted success compared to his predecessor Gary Kirsten, under whose recommendation Fletcher was appointed as a coach of the Indian team. Under Fletcher, India has seen some of the worst defeats, which includes a series loss in Australia and England during the 2011/12 season. It was the manner in which the Indian team lost the away series that questions were raised about Fletcher's role. It was a series white wash in both the away tours, which many claim to be one of the most embarrassing episodes in Indian cricket.

But one could not blame Fletcher for India's dismal performance in the away tours, as India has more or less struggled in away tours and have been a dominant force under home conditions under all coaches. It was the same when the Indian team defeated the touring New Zealand side (Test series), which India won 2-0. Still, the Indian team could not come up with their best under Fletcher in big series as the 2012 ICC world T20, where India failed to make it in the semi-finals of the championship.

When the Indian fans and the BCCI were sulking in India's exit from the T20 World Cup, India suffered another major set back, when the Indian team lost to the touring English side 2-1 in a Test series. This can be branded as a bigger defeat than their last series white wash defeats in England and Australia, as India was beaten on their own backyard, which is a rareity.

So, with such kind of performances, one was sure that it was time for Fletcher to say good bye to India. Time was running out and it was time for Fletcher to wave his magic wand with only a few series left before his contract ends after the completion of two years as an Indian coach. But, when it mattered the most, the Indian team began to deliver and defeated the English ODI side. In the ongoing Test series as well against Australia, India have taken a 2-0 unassailable lead and a series white wash is on the cards. But does this recent victories grant him a contract extension? Not many would agree.

Former Indian cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar and Farokh Engineer have said that the Indian coach is lucky to be granted an extension. They are right, for how many Indian coaches would have survived the axe with such kind of results? There were reports late last year where some players of the Indian team stated that they were not happy with Duncan Fletcher. But, it is no rocket science – MS Dhoni, who mattered most has been backing Duncan Fletcher in many counts and might have been one of the reasons for his contract extension.

But it is no time to crib with the extension granted to Fletcher. Stick to him and show solidarity to the former England coach. India has some very important away tours coming up in the season, so this is surely going to be his last chance. It is now or never for Fletcher. He has 365 days to make former Indian cricketers praise him, respect him and above all receive the love and blessing of the Indian fans with favourable results. The million dollar question – 'will he deliver?' shall only be answered next year.

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