After much wait and break, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) finally announced the Head Coach of Indian cricket team. As the news came in the afternoon, Ravi Shastri has been handed the job of the Head Coach of the side. But two other men namely Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid have also been added to the Indian backroom staff. Zaheer has been given the charge to coach Indian bowlers whereas Dravid will travel with the team on overseas tours as batting consultant.
First talking of Shastri, he was one of the strongest contenders to take up the job as he shares a good rapport with Indian skipper Virat Kohli, which he developed when he worked as the Director of Indian cricket for a period of less than two years from 2014 to 2016. Last year when BCCI invited applications for the job, he was one of the strongest candidates but with Kumble jumping in the race in the eleventh hour, Shastri was sidelined and the latter one was given the duty.
However, withing one year, Kumble resigned from the post citing untenable relation with the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. This time the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) did not trespass the view of the skipper and deemed it fit to hand over the job to Shastri, for a period of two years, till 2019 World Cup.
Coming to Zaheer Khan, his name for the post of bowling coach has cropped up on certain occasions but every time news of pay issue came along with it. But finally, the board and Zaheer Khan made a settlement and now he has been given the officially. Though it has been learned that Shastri was keen to bring back Bharat Arun – who was on the job when Shastri was Director – but Sourav Ganguly, a member of CAC wanted Zaheer Khan to be handed over this job.
The third entrant in the dressing room is Rahul Dravid, the present coach of India A and U-19. The former Indian skipper will be travelling with the Indian team on overseas tours as batting consultant. This will be his second stint with team India as earlier in the year 2014 during India’s tour to England, he went with the team in the capacity of batting consultant and mentor, due to his brilliant form in the year 2011 during India’s abysmal tour.
On a tour where other batsmen were struggling, Dravid was the lone Indian batsmen to score runs with the bat. He accumulated 461 runs in eight innings and was the only Indian batsmen to touch the three-figure mark. In fact, he scored three centuries, most by any player in the Test series.
India tour of Sri Lanka will be the first assignment for the newly appointed coaches. However, Dravid will not travel to Sri Lanka as he will fly with the India A team, which is all set to travel South Africa for List A and a First-Class series.