Why Ravi Shastri should continue as India’s coach
While India have gotten off to an impressive start on the West Indies tour, there are pressing questions to be answered back home. Ravi Shastri and the rest of the coaching staff, comprising of the batting coach, bowling coach and fielding coach, are on their last assignment before their contracts are up.
There have been reports that the likes of Mike Hesson, Mahela Jayawardene, Gary Kirsten, etc have applied for the coveted job. The current head coach, Ravi Shastri, has also applied for an extension, and even Virat Kohli said before the Indian side departed to the Caribbean that he would like Shastri to continue as the coach.
So what makes Shastri the ideal candidate to continue? While his relationship with the captain and the players certainly helps, it is also important to remember that under his tenure, India have reached No. 1 in Tests and No. 2 in ODIs in the ICC rankings.
The Men in Blue have become one of the most consistent teams around the block, and while they’d have liked to cross the final hurdle in the ICC World Cup recently, it is hard to dispute that they have been largely very good under Shastri's stewardship.
India were a bit unlucky to lose the Test series in South Africa in 2018, and the 4-1 scoreline does not reflect how close the games played in England were. They finally got their rewards by becoming the first Indian side to win a Test series on Australian soil.
Moreover, the way the Indian bowling attack has shaped up has been remarkable. India’s bowling stocks are at an all-time high, with established quicks like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma as well as youngsters like Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini making big strides.
Some very talented young spinners like Rahul Chahar, Shreyas Gopal and Kuldeep Yadav along with established ones like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are in the reckoning too.
At a time when Indian cricket is undergoing a transition, it would be advisable to continue with Shastri. The T20 World Cup is just a year away, and this is not the right time to make changes in the entire coaching setup as it will take some time for the players to adapt to the new personnel.
Kapil Dev and Co have been appointed to form the committee that oversees the process of electing the next coach, and they will make a decision which will impact Indian cricket one way or the other. While there is often a tendency to want to change things, it must be remembered that continuity and stability have their own rewards.
It certainly will not be an easy decision, and the next few weeks could be massive - at least in terms of the short-term future of Indian cricket. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.