The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting of Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy on Friday (August 16) re-appointed Ravi Shastri as the head coach of Team India for the next two years.
Shastri pipped the likes of Mike Hesson and Tom Moody to retain this high-profile post despite India losing quite a few crucial matches under his first stint, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final against New Zealand last month.
However, a report published in IANS claims the thing that seems to have helped Shastri clinch the deal is his urge to erase the bitter memory of losing the World Cup semi-final.
“There were some pointed questions and one of them to Shastri was what went wrong in the semi-final against New Zealand. He made it clear that one bad day doesn’t make this team bad. In fact, he emphasized on how he has unfinished business as the team now looks to gear up for not one, but two World T20s -- 2020 and 2021. The confidence with which he said this made the committee believe that Shastri is the man who needs to guide this team forward,” the source quoted as saying by IANS.
The source further added that while there were parameters in place, one of the major areas where Shastri beat Hesson to the job was the team’s performance under him on overseas tours.
“The CAC was clear about the fact that champion teams do well on foreign soil. Every team does well at home and India has done the same over the years. But the team’s rise on foreign soil has been exemplary under Shastri. There is no denying the fact that the combination that Shastri and Kohli form is unparalleled in the current scenario and with Shastri acting as the guiding force, this team will only perform better in the times to comes,” the source revealed.
Notably, Shastri also credited skipper Virat Kohli for the transformation that the team has gone through in recent times when it comes to professionalism as well as consistent with their performances.
“Shastri told the CAC that this team has a leader who believes in leading from the front and there is no way that the youngsters wouldn’t want to imbibe from someone like Kohli. He also told them how Kohli has set new benchmarks when it comes to the fitness standards and that has rubbed off on all the players who now believe that fitness is as crucial a part of being an international cricket as is batting and bowling well,” the source said.
While Shastri’s re-appointment was expected by and large, the source disclosed that it was a close call with Hesson impressing all three CAC members.
“Hesson was really good. The committee had gone in with a clean mind and what the former Kiwi coach presented to them really had them impressed. But in the end, it was a case of Shastri knowing the boys inside out that clinched the deal for the former all-rounder,” the source mentioned.
(With IANS inputs)