Duncan Fletcher MS Dhoni Ravi Shastri India
Ravi Shastri was all praise for India coach Duncan FletcherReuters

Ravi Shastri was roped in to become the team director of India after the side were walloped in the five-match Test series against England, with calls rising for coach Duncan Fletcher to be let go.

While Shastri's appointment might have been seen as undermining Fletcher's role in the team, the man himself backed the Zimbabwean to continue as India coach, with warm words coming the former England boss' way.

"Fletcher is the coach," Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. "He looks over the handling of various things including little, little stuff. He is tremendous.

"He would have done over a 100 Tests as a coach, which is massive. He is very good. He is technically very sound. He is a solid character. He is respected. He is a fatherly figure.

"Let the media say what they want. I have told you what I thought of Fletcher. I will go back and speak with the BCCI."

The BCCI gave MS Dhoni a stern warning after the India skipper backed Fletcher to lead the side in the ODI World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, but Shastri's backing does point to the fact that the experienced coach is set to stay at the helm, at least until India's defence of the World Cup.

However, it remains to be seen just what role Shastri will play with the team in the future after the former player refused to commit to his role for the next few tournaments, including the World Cup.

"My job was to be with the team for the ODI series," he added. "They have won it. I want to let that sink. I will return to India and then think about the future."

Shastri also emphasised the fact that he had performed his role as well as could have been expected, with India rolling to a 3-1 series win in the ODI series, even if they lost the last two matches of the tour – the 5th ODI and the lone T20 international.

"I got more than I would have expected," he said. "I say that only because England's record at home, not many sides have thrashed them 3-1 in a four-match ODI series.

"It is a big achievement, from what they were mentally after the Test series defeat, and then, to respond in that fashion made me feel proud."

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