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Sourav Ganguly claims Ravi Shastri was offered Indian batting coach role

Ganguly also had his say on India's lack of a bowling coach for the upcoming series against the West Indies.

Sourav Ganguly
There has been a lot said about Shastri’s coaching chances with India

Just when it seemed the Sourav Ganguly-Ravi Shastri spat was finally over, the former Indian skipper, who turned 44 yesterday has come up with an interesting revelation that is sure to spice things up further. Though Ganguly refused to get into any further personal duel with Shastri, he revealed that the former Team India director was offered the batting coach role. working alongside new head coach Anil Kumble. 

The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and  Ganguly, entrusted by the BCCI in selecting the new head coach of the Indian Cricket team had ruled in favour of Kumble, India’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 619 scalps from 132 wickets, ahead of Shastri who clearly wanted to continue in the role he assumed in mid 2014. 

A miffed Shastri expressed his disappointment at the snub but was more irate with Ganguly’s decision to skip his presentation and instead attend a working committee meeting of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), which has Ganguly as its president. The duo got into what is now a well-document verbal spat and Ganguly has added another twist to this never-ending battle. 

In an exclusive interview with Mid-Day, Ganguly revealed that Shastri was offered the chance to work under Kumble as the team’s batting coach. 

“Enough has been said (on his personal duel with Shastri). I do not wish to discuss anything further,” Ganguly said. “(But)Yes, we offered Ravi the Indian team's batting coach post.”

Having been the main man for nearly two years, Shastri was clearly not in a mood to work under somebody and instead the job has been taken up by Sanjay Bangar, who shared a similar role under Shastri. It will be interesting to see whether Shastri has anything to say about Ganguly’s latest revelation. 

Ganguly talks about India’s bowling coach role

While Abhay Sharma was named the fielding coach of the India side along with Bangar as the batting coach for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies, the role of bowling coach was left vacant. Not surprising considering Kumble’s stature in Indian cricket and Ganguly added that the decision on the same was left solely on the new coach’s shoulders. 

“It is Anil's prerogative. Since he is a bowler, maybe, he did not appoint a bowling coach. I also have read in the newspapers that he may rope in pace bowling coach later. Let me stress that Sachin and Laxman have no role in appointing Anil's assistant coaches,” Ganguly said. 

On questions whether Zaheer Khan could be added to the coaching setup to help the faster bowlers in the side, Ganguly said that he was not aware of any such development. 

"I have no knowledge about this. BCCI will have to see whether Zaheer is available for 365 days or not," Ganguly said.

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