The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has wasted no time in jumping into action post the Indian team’s disappointing 3-1 Test series defeat in England. Be it the appointment of Ravi Shastri as Director of Cricket for the ODIs or the changes made to the support staff. In an interview with The Indian Express, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel talks about the board’s response to the debacle, the decision to bring in Shastri and about what lies in store for coach Duncan Fletcher and skipper MS Dhoni. Excerpts:
How upset is the BCCI with the Indian team’s dismal loss in the Test series against England?
We are of course very upset with the way some of the wickets were thrown during those Test matches. It is not that our boys don’t know to play cricket. I think what they lacked during the tour was mental toughness. Having said that, this loss was very alarming for the board. The 2015 World Cup is nearby and we all thought that the time was ripe to take some stern decisions. The BCCI had to draw the line somewhere and we just did that.
So is bringing in Ravi Shastri as Director of Cricket in line with the BCCI’s move to take stern decisions?
The first thing the BCCI felt was necessary was to create a comfort zone for the boys. And we thought that Ravi Shastri was the perfect man to create that kind of an atmosphere. So I requested Ravi to take up the job, and as always, he was ready to work with Team India and BCCI. After a discussion with my colleagues in the board, we decided that the team needed a support staff that was capable of bringing the boys’ focus back on the game, and to resolve their mental problems and weaknesses. For that matter, they also required a man who would be able to talk to them.
By bringing in Shastri as Director, and ‘resting’ Trevor Penney and Joe Dawes, is the BCCI sending a strong message that everyone in the team management is accountable?
Everyone has to be made accountable for the performance of the team. This chalta hai attitude won’t work. We generally wait to take such calls after assessing the tour reports. But it was clear that there was something wrong taking place this time around. And we thought that we shouldn’t wait before putting corrective measures in place. Some people might ask why not wait till the end of the tour to ring in the changes. But this is how I think, if you’re feeling unwell today, will you take your medicines now or do it after four days?
Did the BCCI consult the players in England before naming continued…