Ravi Shastri was desperate for coach's post, Anil Kumble is the best choice, says Gautam Gambhir
Yet another cricketer has jumped into the recent embroilment that has transpired between former India cricketers Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly over the latter’s perceived absence when Shastri had appeared for the interview for the post of the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. Indian opening batsman, Gautam Gambhir, in a chat with ABP News today, backed his former teammate and the new coach of the team, Anil Kumble. He also lashed out at the former Team Director, Shastri, labelling him as someone who was ‘desperate’ to get the aforementioned job.
As a prelude to Gambhir’s remarks, it should be noted that Shastri, presumably aghast at not being given the opportunity to coach the Indian Cricket Team, had called Ganguly disrespectful towards Indian cricket and the Cricket Advisory Committee by not being present at the time of the interview. In retaliation, a deeply hurt and saddened Ganguly had hit back at his senior pro, questioning his absence from the venue during the time of the interview. The 54-year-old former all-rounder was in Bangkok on the day the interviews were being conducted and appeared for the same via a video conference.
Now, cricketers from various parts of the country have started giving their opinions on the issue, with Gambhir being the first one to come out openly and give live statements to the media. “I think it was Shastri’s desperation to become the coach that led him to make such statements. Moreover, I feel that Anil Kumble is best man for the job and he has been, deservingly, rewarded with the coveted position,” said Gambhir.
“There is nothing surprising to Kumble’s selection, as I feel that amongst all those who had applied for the position, Kumble was the best choice, as his was the biggest as well as the most professional name to have applied. But looking at the way Ravi Shastri has been releasing statements and remarks out in the open, it clearly indicates his desperation,” the 34-year-old added.
Shastri taking empty credits for India’s success: Gambhir
“Shastri has not been able to accept the fact that he wasn’t given the job, and moreover, judging from the way he has been taking credits for India’s success over the past 18 months, he must also have reminded everyone that India lost an ODI series against Bangladesh and another one against South Africa at home during these 18 months. Out of the two World Cups that the team played, one was held at home, and the team could only reach the semi-finals.”
“Hence, I fail to understand the achievements that Shastri has been talking about. If he’s trying to show that India were No. 1 in Tests and T20s at different stages during the past 18 months, I would like to ask him as to what has the team won? You haven’t won an overseas series, you lost to South Africa at home, and lost to Bangladesh in Bangladesh. Therefore, I feel that Shastri is merely projecting himself as someone who was really great for the team.”
“On the other hand, Kumble is the right man for the post also because he himself has been a hardworking cricketer over the years and would bring the same culture to the team. As far as Shastri is concerned, mere empty talks and taking empty credits would do him no good, and without a substantial proof for his work over the past 18 months, nobody is going to believe in whatever he has to say,” Gambhir concluded.
Earlier today, Ganguly, while interacting with the media, had hailed Shastri’s attack as a personal one and had said that he was deeply saddened by the way things transpired. “He has made it personal. I am extremely saddened to hear that from Ravi yesterday,” said Ganguly.
Reacting to the former team director’s remarks on him not being present at the time of the interview, Ganguly replied, “I have an advice for Ravi, during the selection process he should be in front of the committee, and not in Bangkok. Extremely saddened when he went on air expressing his views, especially from someone who has been in every BCCI committee from the last 20 years. He has been in my position before.”
Shastri, clearly infuriated at his ouster had come out openly in front of the media and has remarked, “A member of the committee (Ganguly) wasn't present and that was disrespectful to the selection process. A person was disrespectful of a candidate who he was going to interview. He was disrespectful to the job he was entrusted with. Next time, be present in a meeting, especially when it is as important as this one."