MS Dhoni & Ravi Shastri
MS Dhoni with Ravi Shastri

Newly re-appointed Head Coach, Ravi Shastri has asked more involvement in the selection process during his interview. The Former Indian cricketer pipped Tom Moody and Mike Hesson to remain India Head Coach till T20 World Cup 2021. He was reappointed by the Kapil Dev led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), although fans are not so happy with the decision.

Shastri has started the process as favourite and eventually won the race as well with ease because of his prior experience of knowing the team pretty well helping him to win. Ravi Shastri is currently in the West Indies with the team and gave the interview via Skype. Alongside him, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, former Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody, former India fielding coach Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput were interviewed by the CAC.

But CAC members confirmed his interview wasn’t a monologue and he was asked a couple of questions including the poor performance of the middle order. “Shastri wasn’t amused with the fact that he was kept out of selection meetings from quite some time where only the captain sat with the selectors to pick the team,” a CAC member shared with India Today.

“He basically suggested the team management didn’t get the players they wanted in the middle order for the World Cup. Although the team management doesn’t have a vote in selection meetings, Shastri wants both the captain and coach’s inputs to be taken in selection meetings,” another CAC member said.

On the other hand, Chief selector MSK Prasad blamed the team management when he was asked about the selection process and inconsistencies performance in the recently concluded World Cup.

“When Shikhar Dhawan was injured, we already had a reserve opener in KL Rahul. At that juncture, we didn’t have a left-hander at the top. The team management requested for a left-hander. We had no other choice other than Rishabh Pant. We knew his capability. That’s the reason why we had to bring in a left-hander,” he said earlier.

“Subsequently, when Vijay Shankar was injured, why an opener was brought in… that’s the confusion. In the game against England, KL Rahul fell on his back and he didn’t take the field. There was so much of worry factor. At that juncture, a mail was written (by team management) that we need a back-up opener. We looked at some of the openers. Some were not in form and some were injured. That’s when we went to Mayank Agarwal,” MK Prasad had shared.

However, the other coaching staff haven’t been decided yet. The responsibility has been handed over to the MSK Prasad-led senior selection committee to select the new assistant coaches.

CAC members. ©BCCI

During the press conference, Kapil Dev said they should have a call in the selection of the coaching staff. “We should have a role as well,” Kapil Dev said at a press conference on Friday (August 16). “If you ask me I personally feel, and we’ve given a letter to BCCI as well. We’ve put it in black and white, in the minutes, that it is not right that we’re not doing that job also.”

“It should not be a communication gap. Their strength and our strength is the same for the team. We want to make sure that the team gets benefitted. That’s what we wanted and if we can help them and chairman of selection committee and his team can help,” Kapil Dev further added.

Earlier also there was a confusion regarding this. In July 2017, the then CAC members – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman recommended Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan for the positions of batting and bowling consultants respectively for India team but the recommendations were rendered void as Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R. Sridhar’s (fielding coach) contracts were renewed.

Even Zaheer Khan too thinks that the head coach should have some call in the selection process of the support staff. “He should have some say in the whole process for sure,” former India pacer Zaheer Khan shared on CricbuzzLive. “For any coach it is important to have the support system around him which is in-sync with his thought process. If you have people going in different directions in that platform, then it’s just going to have repercussions filtering down to the team. I think some kind of say is important that coach should have, he is the captain of the ship.”

Whereas Bharat Arun is expected to retain his position as the bowling coach, batting coach Bangar faces challenges after India’s middle-order failure. Even fielding coach R. Sridhar also has a tough competitor in the form of Jonty Rhodes, one of the best fielders in his time.