Shastri becomes Team India’s head coach as captain Kohli would have wanted; CAC member Ganguly has his way after roping in Zaheer and Dravid as bowling and batting consultants respectively
The Board of Control for Cricket in India yesterday named Ravi Shastri as the new head coach for the Indian cricket team, with former Indian fast bowling great Zaheer Khan being appointed as the bowling coach for a period of two years.
According to a BCCI press release late on Tuesday night, Rahul Dravid will be the overseas batting consultant for Test cricket only.
This will be Shastri’s third stint as a team boss.
Sourav Ganguly, who was reportedly instrumental in crushing Ravi Shastri’s ambitions of becoming head coach of Team India last year, ended up playing a role in making the former Mumbai and India all-rounder Anil Kumble’s successor this time around. Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan has been roped in as bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid (nicknamed Jammy) will assist the team as an overseas batting expert.
Despite talk of opposition to his candidature, Shastri, 55, got Indian cricket’s second most important job last night. Insiders say, Virender Sehwag did not lose out by a big margin as it were, but Shastri’s credentials, past record and his experience as Team Director sealed it for him.
Also view photos: Team India coach Ravi Shastri in his early cricketing years
It is learnt that Shastri was picked as head coach on Monday itself, the day he appeared on Skype for his interview in Mumbai, but there was an issue concerning the bowling coach. Shastri wanted former Test bowler B Arun, who has worked with his team, but Ganguly wanted Zaheer to come on board. An argument took place, but Ganguly apparently won. According to the BCCI release, Zaheer will be the bowling consultant.
“On the Cricket Advisory Committee’s recommendation, we have decided to appoint Ravi Shastri as the chief coach while Zaheer Khan will be appointed bowling coach for a period of two years,” BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna told the media yesterday.
Indeed, Shastri has the experience. He was Cricket Manager during the 2007 tour of Bangladesh and then Team Director from August 2014 to June 2016, a period in which India won a overseas Test series against Sri Lanka, reached the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup and World T20 in 2016.
Shastri also came in and played a positive role after India’s disastrous 2014 tour of England where they lost 1-3.
Zaheer, who last played international cricket in 2014, has no formal coaching experience but has been part of Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Daredevils’ think-tank in recent IPL seasons. Dravid recently gave up his position as the Daredevils mentor, after accepting a two-year contract to coach the India A and Under-19 teams.
The BCCI release added: “Shastri has been the Team Director in the past and brings with him a wealth of experience. Zaheer is a contemporary cricketer who assumed the mentoring role to a young fast bowling unit even during his playing days with India. His inputs will be of immense value to our young fast bowlers, who have shown tremendous potential. As the Indian team is to play Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Dravid’s expertise will be immensely helpful for youngsters,” the BCCI said.
With inputs from agencies