Former India team director Ravi Shastri has decided to apply for the position of the team’s head coach. “Yes, I have decided to apply for the job,” he confirmed to The Indian Express. Shastri also rubbished claims that he will apply only after he is assured of getting the job. Amid speculation and uncertainty about who would be replacing Anil Kumble, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had invited further applications.
Shastri was director of the Indian cricket team between 2014 and 2016 in which he led the team to the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup and 2016 T20I World Cup. He had also applied for the job in 2016 but Kumble was chosen over him. The former spinner was offered a one-year contract. Under him, the team beat West Indies in a Test series before inflicting Test defeats on New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia at home. They also won the accompanying limited overs series. India then reached the final of the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Kumble turned down an offer to extend his contract just a few days after the end of the Champions Trophy amid rumours of a rift between him and captain Virat Kohli. Although Kohli vehemently denied the validity of such rumours, Kumble confirmed that he was informed of the “reservations” that the Indian captain had with him continuing as the coach.
Shastri is believed to have shared a cordial relationship with Kohli and other members of the team. It is also reported that, prior to Kumble’s appointment, Kohli had recommended Shastri to take over as head coach to the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Kumble’s long-time Indian teammates Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.