New Delhi: Former all-rounder and team India Captain Ravi Shastri has been appointed as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team amid high drama and tension. Ravi Shastri, who was the team director from 2014 August to 2016 April, will keep the tenure until 2019 ICC World Cup. Former speedster Zaheer Khan was appointed as the bowling coach, with legendary ex-cricketer Rahul Dravid being appointed as the batting consultant for specific overseas tours. The newest appointments were confirmed by the BCCI in an email generated before 11:00 am on Tuesday.
Ravi Shastri finally had the last laugh after losing out to Anil Kumble last year despite a fairly successful stint as team director for two years. The selection process was started by the BCCI after ex-coach Anil Kumble resigned when India lost to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy finals, amid an untenable relationship with Captain Virat Kohli. Several top names including Virendra Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Tom Moody and Lalchand Rajput had applied for the top job. But it was only during the last window of selection that Shastri put in his application. He shares a good rapport with Kohli and was always considered by many to be the right man for the post. However, the appointment and announcement thereafter came with much drama. After the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) finished interviewing the candidates on Monday, panel member Sourav Ganguly stated that the announcement would be made only after a discussion with Captain Virat Kohli. When several channels with ‘inside sources’ leaked the news of Shastri’s appointment as coach, BCCI Secretary Amit Choudhary initially denied the reports. But a BCCI statement later that day confirmed the news.
New coach Ravi Shastri brings with him an immense wealth of experience, and that he already shares an easy relationship with Kohli is an added bonus. The appointment of Zaheer Khan as bowling coach does not come as a surprise. He has earlier assumed the role of a mentor to a young talented bowling squad even during his playing days. Not enough can be said about the iconic Rahul Dravid. His guidance to India as they play Test series overseas in the next two years will be truly invaluable. We wish the new coaches and the Indian cricket team the best for their stint together.