Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fletcher Will Draw on Experience to Face His Biggest Test

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fletcher Will Draw on Experience to Face His Biggest Test

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LLOYD

DUNCAN FLETCHER faces his biggest challenge as England coach since he took charge six years ago.

This time last week, Fletcher (left) saw nothing but excitement and anticipation when he looked into the eyes of his players. Now, after a crushing defeat by Australia in the opening Ashes Test, there is uncertainty and draining levels of confidence.

Even during Fletcher's largely successful reign, getting thumped by the world champions has been par for the course. Both his series against them have ended in 4-1 thrashings.

But England were so fired up for this summer's contest - and their run of victories over West Indies, New Zealand and South Africa encouraged so much optimism - that another one-sided Ashes series would be a far bigger letdown than those last two heavy losses.

Fletcher will draw on an experience from just six months ago to rally his team when they assemble in Birmingham next week for the Second Test. …

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