What’s the story?
Having previously served as Team India’s director for two years, the head coach’s job might be an upgrade of sorts for Ravi Shastri, but the 55-year-old is treating the new role as just an extension of his previous one.
“I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to carry unnecessary baggage. That’s not the way I’ve lived my life and pursued my cricket. So, why should I be any different now? I like to live in the present and take each day as it comes,” Shastri told The Times of India.He also clarified that Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan were only consultants, and is likely to push for Bharat Arun as a full-time bowling coach for the team.
In case you didn’t know…
Shastri took over as the full-time head coach of the Indian team after the Cricket Advisory Committee picked him over the other five shortlisted candidates, selecting him for a two-year period that culminates with the 2019 World Cup.
Along with Shastri, the BCCI announced two more names: Rahul Dravid, who will be India’s batting consultant for overseas tours, as well Zaheer Khan, who will act as the bowling consultant.
The heart of the matter
Shastri is of the opinion that the highest level requires ‘very little coaching’, for it has more to do with mental conditioning and building the team’s confidence rather than ‘tutoring the players’. He also spoke about mutual respect, and how important it was for the players, terming it as a ‘two-way street’. It was a clear dig at his predecessor Anil Kumble, and his troubled relationship with captain Virat Kohli.
He also clarified that Zaheer and Dravid were only consultants who would be brought in as and when required. Despite stating that their experience is invaluable, Shastri said that he’ll have to decide whether the two would get a full-time role, for he is the one who would actually have to work with them in the long run.
Shastri’s tenure begins with India’s tour of Sri Lanka that commences on July 26, the first Test being held at Galle. Dravid is unlikely to be consulted for the tour due to his prior commitments with the India-A side that are set to tour South Africa around the same time.
A confident Shastri has spoken extensively about his future plans, making it clear that he will take Indian cricket forward on his own terms. The BCCI might have announced Zaheer and Dravid’s names along with him, but Shastri has clarified that their current capacity is nothing more than that of consultants, implying that the former India captain will be doing the bulk of the work himself.
Also, just like in his previous stint, Shastri might push for B Arun as a bowling coach in the side, and could rope in other assistants based on his own discretion rather than the BCCI’s directives.Published 13 Jul 2017, 19:38 IST