The drama surrounding the selection of the head coach of the Indian cricket team finally came to an end almost two months after it began, with cricketer-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri bagging the job on Tuesday according to reports in media.
This comes one day after the CAC announced that they will need more time and talk to captain Virat Kohli before finalising Anil Kumble's successor.
Shastri, 55, was chosen by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that included former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and batting great VVS Laxman. He had initially not applied for the post but when BCCI extended the deadline for applications till July 9, the former Indian team director jumped into the fray and became the hot favourite.
Shastri, who has served as Indian team director from August 2014 to June 2016, shares a healthy rapport with the players including captain Virat Kohli.
The former India captain was also the front-runner for the India coach’s role last time around due to his successful stint as Team Director, before Anil Kumble entered the fray and was handed the high-profile position over 56 other applicants.
According to reports, the BCCI had received 10 applications for the post of India’s head coach — Shastri, Sehwag, Moody, Richard Pybus, Dodda Ganesh, Lalchand Rajput, Lance Klusener, Rakesh Sharma (Oman national team coach), Phil Simmons and Upendranath Brahmachari (an engineer sans any cricketing background).
However, only five of these — Sehwag, Shastri, Moody, Rajput, and Pybus — were reportedly interviewed by the CAC.
Shastri, who was considered as the front-runner for the job ever since he had expressed his desire to apply for the post, edged past the other five candidates who were interviewed in the all-important meeting in Mumbai.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian team was without a head coach after Anil Kumble resigned from the post after the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, terming his relationship with the skipper as ‘untenable’. Sanjay Bangar stepped in as coach on the tour of the West Indies. India won the ODI series but lost the one-off T20 on Sunday.
During Shastri's tenure, India won limited overs series series away against England in 2014, reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and World T20 (2015 and 2016 respectively), won away Test series against Sri Lanka, home series against South Africa and T20 away series against Australia.
Shastri's first appointment will be the tour to Sri Lanka, one that consists of three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I.