The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy on Friday (August 16) “unanimously” picked former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the national team. Shastri will remain in charge until the T20 World Cup of 2021 to be played in India. (CRICKET NEWS)
Speaking to reporters, Kapil Dev insisted that India skipper Virat Kohli's opinion to retain Shastri didn't influence the decision making. Interestingly, when Shastri had replaced Anil Kumble after the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, Kohli's choice did matter.
"Definitely not. If we had to do that we would have had to consult everyone else as well. We don't have the provision to do that," Dev said.
Shastri, who joined India’s backroom staff as team director during the tour of England in 2014, lost out to Kumble in 2016 and then later succeeded him the next year after the Kumble-Kohli controversy.
In Shastri's just-concluded tenure, India won 11 Tests (played 21, lost seven) including a historic series victory (2-1) in Australia. India held on to their No.1 Test ranking but suffered losses on the tours of South Africa and England in 2018.
Also, India won 44 of their 61 ODIs and made the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup. They also won 25 of the 36 T20s during Shastri’s reign.
“In his presentation, Shastri told us was what he had done in the last two years and where we need to improve. He also told us what help he needs,” Dev said.
The CAC also revealed that Mike Hesson and Tom Moody finished second and third, respectively, on the basis of their excellent presentations. For Moody, who has coached Sri Lanka and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past, it was second time unlucky after missing the cut in 2017 as well.
Other applicants shortlisted for the interview included Lalchand Rajput (India team manager at World T20 2007), Robin Singh (former India fielding coach and Phil Simmons (West Indies coach at World T20 2016), who pulled out of the race.
Gaekwad admitted Shastri’s association with the current players went in his favour.
"Being a current coach, knowing the boys well, knowing the problems well, what has to be done. He was well versed with the system. Somebody knows the system and somebody who knows the players well has an advantage," said Gaekwad, who coached India twice.
CAC’s third member Shanta Rangaswamy said that all the shortlisted candidates had shared their vision of taking Indian cricket forward.
“All of them spoke about the way forward and we compared it with past performances and that’s how we picked on Ravi (Shastri),” Rangaswamy, former Indian women's team captain, said.