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Kirti Azad blasts Ravi Shastri, wants Rahul Dravid to coach Team India

Kirti Azad on Ravi Shastri.

Team India director Ravi Shastri with captain Virat Kohli

Former Indian cricketer, Kirti Azad was scathing in his criticism after Ravi Shastri and company lost the first Test in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, saying that Shastri can only talk and Rahul Dravid can deliver.

Azad wrote in his column in DNA news that India let the match go away from their hands after taking 192 runs lead in the first innings. He also taunted Shastri by reminded readers that when India lost last time in this same manner, Shastri was a part of that team too.

"Sri Lankan players ensured that their team turned a huge 192-run deficit into a 176-run target for India. The Indian batsmen stumbled against the guile of Rangana Herath, giving away a 1-0 lead to Sri Lanka," Azad wrote. "This is the second time that India have lost in pursuit of chasing a target of less than 200. The first instance was against the West Indies in Barbados in 1997, where India were bowled out for 81 while chasing 120. It seems that Ravi Shastri, the current team director, was there too."

He added that Shastri is only talking and not bringing the results which are needed. 

"Shastri is a great talker, but talking alone does not deliver results. It is not surprising why the cricketers want Shastri to continue as mentor cum coach, and are not interested in a hard taskmaster as their coach. The stage was set by the players of the previous years," he wrote.

On Rohit Sharma's form

Azad said that he doesn't doubt Sharma's capability, but playing him instead of the available player Cheteshwar Pujara is not a good decision. He compared the current team with the past and concluded saying ths team is at a loose end.

"Rohit Sharma is an enigma. While nobody doubts his potential, he like Suresh Raina, who has taken years to mature and deliver the goods. Getting him at No. 3 was never a wise decision, particularly if the contingent has Cheteshwar Pujara, who has a far better and tighter defence.

"Sadly, after the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who used to shepherd chases around themselves, this young team seems to be at a loose end. Sachin Tendulkar's record in fourth innings chases was never particularly good, and it was left to Dravid to knit valuable rearguard action in the company of Laxman. Both of them could tackle the conditions and bowlers with equal equanimity," he further wrote.

On India coaching issue

The former right-handed batsman expressed concern about the new Indian coach for the team and wrote that Dravid should be given the top job because he is doing really good with India 'A' team.

"Back to the coaching. What is the BCCI doing about finalising the head coach? I understand that the five wise men have (The advisory comittee) met only once -- the shoe, it seems, is on the other foot. The current team does not want to settle for anybody other than Shastri. But, what are they doing? Dravid's fine run with India 'A' should make him a front runner for the job, and the appropriate choice. Dravid is the best choice amongst Indians and he can straightaway be given the job. I hope that you all agree."

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