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Ravi Shastri, Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan to guide Indian cricket

Picture Courtesy : India.com
Picture Courtesy : India.com

The Committee of Administrators (COA) hailed the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for picking Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the national team according to a PTI  news report.

CAC, comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, appointed former India all- rounder and commentator Director Shastri as head coach and Zaheer Khan as bowling coach till the 2019 World Cup.

Shastri was Cricket Manager during the 2007 tour of Bangladesh and then Team Director from August 2014 to June 2016, a period in which India won a overseas Test series against Sri Lanka, reached the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup and World T20 in 2016. Shastri also came in and played a positive role after India’s disastrous 2014 tour of England where they lost 1-3.

According to highly-placed PTI sources, former captain Ganguly had reservations about Shastri’s appointment but was finally convinced by Tendulkar, who wanted the team’s wish to be respected. It was learnt that Shastri however didn’t get his choice of bowling coach — Bharath Arun — where Ganguly pulled a coup by getting Zaheer on board.

“Sourav was brought around and convinced about Ravi after it was agreed that Zaheer would be made the bowling coach,” a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“Zaheer is such a name that no one could have possibly objected to due to his repertoire of knowledge and a fantastic relation with the current crop,” the source added.

Batting legend Rahul Dravid will be the batting consultant for specific overseas tours.”As the Indian team is to play plenty of Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid’s expertise as batting consultant will be immensely helpful for youngsters,” read BCCI’s press release.

In his first assignment as coach, India A won the Tri-series in Australia which also involved South Africa. He repeated that success with the Under-19 team, guiding them to the final of the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh, where they lost to West Indies. The legandary Dravid will continue to coach the junior teams after accepting a two-year contract recently after quitting his stint as mentor of the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

It may be recalled that Dravid and Zaheer worked together at Delhi Daredevils for two seasons where the former was the team mentor-cum-coach and the latter is the captain and the most senior player in the squad.

“The Cricket Advisory Committee has made its recommendation regarding the coach. It is a comprehensive recommendation covering all aspects of the coaching requirement of any team,” the COA said in a statement, released by BCCI.

“They (CAC) have applied themselves to the cause at hand with dedication and commitment. This is exactly what we had expected from a committee of such distinguished cricketers. On behalf of all interested in ‘Cricket India’, BCCI and the COA, I thank them for the service so willingly rendered by them. We accept their recommendation in totality,” the statement said.

The decision was made after days of high drama and now COA wants all stakeholders to move on.

“A coach is a mentor to a team. He is a friend and an elder buddy. He has to actively contribute to building up the morale and harmony in the dressing room. Motivating and guiding the players off the ground is the responsibility of the coach.

“The captain is the leader and the gladiator on the ground. Any team is always built around the leadership qualities and professionalism of the captain. He is the face of the team. The coach has to provide backroom support.

“It is with this objective in mind that the job of selection of a coach was entrusted to three of the most experienced former players/captains of the Indian team. They have been in the thick of it all themselves. Now that they have made the choice, we sincerely feel that the new combination will steward the team to number 1 position in the World Cup.

“We need to put the immediate past events to rest and wish the team, the captain, coach and support staff a very ‘happy innings’ in the run up to the World Cup,” the COA added.

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