The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) took a unanimous decision to pick Ravi Shastri as the Indian team head coach, Sourav Ganguly has confirmed. The former India captain, who is a member of the CAC, along with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, also said that the “best person” for the job has been selected. “We picked the best person we thought. In consultation with Virat, we picked the best person,” Ganguly told The Indian Express on Wednesday. Asked about the reported difference of opinion among the Committee members, he said: “No, no. It was unanimous.”
Apart from selecting Shastri as the head coach, the CAC also recommended Zaheer Khan as bowling consultant and Rahul Dravid as batting consultant for overseas Tests. Ganguly clarified that the names had been finalised after consultation with Shastri. “He (Shastri) was consulted by Sachin. That’s why we had asked for time.” Shastri trumped his nearest rivals Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput to return to the Indian team fold as the head coach. His earlier stints with the team had been as cricket manager and team director. The former Mumbai all-rounder wasn’t in the original list of applicants but applied for the job after the BCCI extended the timeline till July 9 following Anil Kumble’s departure.
After interviewing five candidates on Monday, the CAC had said it would take a few days to decide who would be the man for the job. “We want to speak to Virat Kohli once he is back from America, all three of us along with the respective people concerned. We will explain to him that the coaches want to function in a certain way and make sure that everybody is on the same page before we make the announcement, because once we make the announcement it has to be till the (2019) World Cup,” Ganguly had said. The Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai, however, directed the BCCI Tuesday morning to name the coach without any further delay. Accordingly, the cricket board made the announcement in the evening.
The COA has described the CAC recommendation as “comprehensive”, hailing the service rendered by the three legends of the game. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee will have a meeting on July 15 to ratify the CAC recommendations.
India can produce its best Test team soon: Shastri
PTI adds: Meanwhile, Shastri has said the current Indian cricket team, with a battery of pacers at its disposal, can go on to become the country’s best-ever Test outfit in the coming years. “It can be a better Test team than any Indian team we have had. This is a team you can travel with (anywhere). There is a battery of pacers which can do well in all conditions and take 20 wickets. Their age is such that they are playing at the right time,” Shastri told ‘India Today’ from London.
He said skipper Virat Kohli was yet to reach his peak and that the next few years will define him in the true sense. “Kohli is a champion cricketer, he has not yet reached his peak. The next five or six years will define the real Virat Kohli,” Shastri said. On Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s future, Shastri said, “2019 (World Cup) is a long way to go. They are both champion cricketers. We will deal with it when the time arrives. I am just getting into the dressing room again, so I need to spend time with the captain (Kohli) and take things forward.”