India’s search for a head coach finally ended on Tuesday night (July 11) with the BCCI confirming Ravi Shastri’s appointment as Anil Kumble’s replacement.
The former team director was the widely touted favourite to bag the role, as he beat competition from likes of Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput for the coveted job.
With Shastri enjoying a good equation with skipper Virat Kohli, speculations were rife that he would become the next coach after Kumble’s acrimonious exit and the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) as well as the BCCI did not spring any surprise.
However, there were surprises from the board, as it also appointed former players Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as the team’s bowling consultant and batting consultant for overseas tours, respectively.
“The BCCI announces the appointment of Mr Ravi Shastri as the Head Coach, Mr Zaheer Khan as the Bowling Consultant and Mr Rahul Dravid who will be the Overseas Batting Consultant (Test cricket) for the Indian Cricket Team,” the BCCI stated on Tuesday.
The trio, meanwhile, has been getting congratulatory messages since last night and out of favour India batsman, Suresh Raina has also congratulated them.
“Congratulations @ImZaheer @RaviShastriOfc & #RahulDravid. Best wishes for a successful tenure with #TeamIndia @BCCI,” the southpaw tweeted.
Shastri’s first assignment as coach will be the upcoming Sri Lanka tour starting with the Test series from July 26 and the former India all-rounder will be keen to see the team replicating the performance of the 2015 series when Virat Kohli & Co. had won the Test series 2-1 with Shastri as the team director. Shastri was the director between 2014 to 2016 – a period where India reached the semifinals of both the World Cup 2015 as well as World Twenty20 2016.