Ravi Shastri selected as Indian Cricket team coach till 2019 World Cup; here is a sneak peek into the series of dramatic moments around this appointment
Rahul Dravid has been appointed as the batting consultant for overseas Tests; Zaheer Khan appointed as the bowling consultant for the same tenure
By Ankit Pattnaik
Putting an end to all the speculations, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday appointed former Indian all-rounder and team director Ravi Shastri as Team India’s head coach till the 2019 cricket World Cup. Former captain Rahul Dravid has been appointed as the batting consultant for overseas Test series while former speedster and strike-bowler Zaheer Khan has been bestowed the responsibility of bowling consultant for the same tenure.
This confirmation came late on Tuesday night after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) was impressed by the Cricket Advisory Committee’s (CAC) urgent need to end the uncertainty of India’s next head coach. The CAC comprises 3 from the ‘Fab 5’ members viz. Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
Recently, Team India went through a rare low phase after losing out to arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final in London. Prior to that, Captain Virat Kohli had complained to the BCCI that some members in the dressing room aren’t enjoying the strict coaching regime being implemented by the then coach Anil Kumble. Soon after the final, there was a bitter-fallout between the captain and the coach as Kumble resigned from the post as head coach. It was also reported earlier that both Kohli and Kumble weren’t in talking terms during the Champions Trophy. According to Kumble, it was “untenable” for him to carry on with Kohli, as he preferred to resign than extending his stint till India’s tour ends in the Caribbean.
Ravi Shastri was one of the five candidates to be interviewed by the CAC. Apart from him former explosive opener Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput were also interviewed. Shastri, the former team director applied for the position of head coach after Anil Kumble’s resignation. Life came a full circle for Shastri as he finally had the last laugh after he missed out the opportunity last year. BCCI chose Kumble ahead of Shastri thereby not extending his stint as team director last year. These apart, who can forget the Shastri-Ganguly spat!!
Nevertheless, Ravi Shastri has proved his mettle during his stint of 2 years spanning from 2014-16. Under his able guidance, Team India reached the semi-finals of the 2015 cricket World Cup and the 2016 World T20. India also achieved the numero uno status in Tests for 8 weeks. India also went on to win the T20 Asia Cup and her first bilateral series win in Australia when MS Dhoni & co. whitewashed the Aussies 3-0 in the T20 series. During his initial days as team director, Shastri worked alongside the then coach Duncan Fletcher till the 2015 WC.
During his playing days, Ravi Shastri was part of the Kapil’s Devils who won the 1983 World Cup defeating the favourites West Indies captained by Clive Lloyd. He is also remembered for his all-round exploits in the 1985 World Championship of cricket where he emerged as the player of the tournament. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the final to be called as ‘Champion of Champions’.
Rahul Dravid gave up his mentorship for IPL-franchise Delhi Daredevils (DD) after extending his tenure as coach of India A and U-19 teams; apart from donning his new role for Team India. Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan has no international coaching experience as he was the captain-cum-coach for DD forging a good partnership with Rahul Dravid. Ravi Shastri’s first assignment as head coach begins when India leaves for Sri Lanka to play 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and a T20 from July 26.