Shastri reappointed as Indian cricket team's head coach

Tuesday 20th August 2019 16:45 EDT

Ravi Shastri will remain as head coach of the men’s senior national team as the Indian cricket board (BCCI), extended his contract up to the 2021 T20 World Cup in India. Shastri, who took over as the head coach in July 2017, was a direct entry into the interview process that took place in Mumbai. This will be Shastri’s fourth stint with the team.

The Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) which included Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy who interviewed five candidates for the job, declared that Shastri was chosen unanimously as the best candidate for the most high pressure coaching job in world cricket. Australia’s Tom Moody, New Zealand’s Mike Hesson, and Mumbai-based coaches Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh, alongside Shastri, were the candidates in the fray after a shortlisting process undertaken by the BCCI earlier this week. The sixth candidate, Phil Simmons pulled out of the race earlier in the day.

Shastri, Hesson and Moody turned out to be the three final candidates, chosen in that particular order, based on skill-specific rating marks out of 100. The parameters on the basis of which these candidates were evaluated were coaching philosophy, experience of coaching, achievements in coaching, communication and knowledge of modern coaching tools. Former India captain Kapil Dev said the interview process took time – the whole day, in fact – because the candidates were based in different time zones. While Moody and Hesson gave their respective interviews from Australia, Simmons gave his from Trinidad.

Shastri, who is also in the Caribbean with the Indian team at the moment, gearing up for the two Tests against the West Indies in Antigua and Trinidad, gave a presentation to the CAC members. His interaction lasted a full 50 minutes. “All of them were excellent. I felt Shastri had more skills of communication. We have given the marks after listening to their presentations,” is all Kapil said about the presentations and the interview process.

During his current term as head coach since July 2017, India have won 13 of 21 Tests, including a historic series win against Australia in Australia. In T20Is India have won 25 out of 36 matches while in ODIs, it’s 43 out of 60. With the focus now shifting to the World Test championship cycle, the World T20 in 2020 and the T20 World Cup in 2021, Shastri laid out the roadmap for the CAC to consider, one that was unanimously considered to be better than the others.

The members of the CAC further added that no views were sought from Team India captain Virat Kohli or any other member of the team and it wasn’t considered necessary. “We haven’t asked anyone. There was no scope for that. Because, if we take his (Kohli’s) views, we would have to take the entire team’s views too,” Kapil said. However, Kohli had earlier backed the idea of retaining Shastri as the coach, speaking at a press conference before the team left for the Caribbean.

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