India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisted coach Duncan Fletcher was “still the boss” ahead of the forthcoming one-day series in England despite the upheaval in the tourists’ backroom staff.
England’s 3-1 win over India in the five-Test series saw Dhoni’s men suffer innings defeats in the final two matches.
That led Indian officials to bring in former allrounder Ravi Shastri to “oversee” the team during a five-match one-day series starting in Bristol on Monday.
Meanwhile, fielding and bowling coaches Trevor Penney and Joe Dawes were both given a “break”.
One-day world champions India defend their title in Australia and New Zealand early next year and Dhoni was adamant Fletcher would be in charge for that competition, even though the former England boss has overseen two losing Test tours of England with India, following a defeat in 2011.
But the Zimbabwean was also in charge when India beat hosts England in last year’s Champions Trophy final at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground.
“Definitely, Duncan will lead us into the World Cup … he is still the boss,” Dhoni said on Sunday.
“We have Ravi, who will look into everything, but Duncan Fletcher is the boss. It’s not as if his powers or his position have been curtailed … still operations remain the same.
“We have a few other support staff who come into the dressing room, but overall the operation remains the same,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added.
Asked about Shastri’s role, Dhoni said: “He is here to oversee the operations,” he added.
“He is a very proud India cricketer, and at the same time very positive. He believes a lot in fighting and having the right instincts … giving 100 per cent.
“He also speaks the same language, and can interact a lot with the players.”
Meanwhile, Dhoni said he expected England to pose more of a threat now that dynamic batsman Alex Hales had been brought in to open alongside skipper Alastair Cook.
“He is a fantastic batsman. He is a tall guy so he has a different reach,” Dhoni said of Hales.
“He also plays the spinners well. It will be a good acquisition for the English side.”
As for what India needed to do following their Test humbling, Dhoni said: “We have to stand up, take responsibility and back each other up.
“That will change the tough times we have had to successful times.”