After what seemed like a never-ending saga in recent times involving Indian cricket, Ravi Shastri was finally announced as the head coach following the resignation of Anil Kumble a few weeks ago.
Shastri, who took up the director’s role three years ago, will serve as the coach until the 2019 ICC World Cup. Of the candidates who were in the reckoning, a certain Virender Sehwag had also thrown his hat in the ring.
Yahoo Cricket caught up with AN Sharma, the coach of one the primary candidates, Virender Sehwag, who in the end lost out on the big job.
Why did the CAC prefer Shastri?
When Sachin asked Shastri to file his nomination it was decided there and then that he would be coach. Sachin is such a big gun that nobody can stand up against him. Although Ganguly and Laxman were not happy with the choice, there was nothing they could do. Even the last time, Ganguly was not very happy when Shastri gave the interview from Hong Kong and was not physically present.
Why has there been so much confusion around the coach’s appointment?
I had said in an earlier interview that Sachin was supporting Shastri and that he would become the coach. If that were the case, there was no point interviewing the other candidates. These are almost bullying tactics.
Do you think the team will do well under Shastri as head coach?
It’s too early to say. Shastri obviously has Virat Kohli’s support. But I must say the selection process was not fair. Sachin had told Shastri earlier he must apply, almost assuring him the job. This can only mean that Sachin has a soft corner for him.
What is your take on selection process that was followed?
You’re deciding on the Team India coach and you are conducting the interview on Skype! This is no interview. It can be any big name making the appointment, but this is not the way it should be done. How is this even allowed?
Sachin and Sehwag also share a good equation. Why did he not support him?
Relations go for a hike when it comes to big selection decisions.
Is Shastri the right choice?
I have the utmost respect for Anil Kumble. But the man who really coaches the team will have to run away. The man who does nothing and toes the players’ line, will last long. The players basically want a coach who will not be hard on them.
What about Virat Kohli’s preference?
Definitely, he would have preferred Shastri. Sehwag would have worked for the team and he would not have let players have their own way every single time. He would have listened to them, but he would not have been a dummy.
Do you think the coach-captain rift had an impact on India’s Champions Trophy performance?
When India played Pakistan in the final, it appeared that our team underperformed. Kumble even wondered later why Kohli had elected to field. I still maintain that India ‘gifted’ the match to Pakistan.Published 15 Jul 2017, 10:34 IST