Kolkata: The race for becoming the coach of the Indian team has become more intense and interesting as former team director Ravi Shastri has applied for the top job and is now clearly the favourite, given the support he has in the form of skipperVirat Kohli.
Earlier, Shastri hadn’t applied for the job but after Anil Kumble decided to step down, the former decided to give it a go and applied for the job. “Yes, I have decided to apply for the job,” said Shastri according to reports.
In his stint with the Indian team as director, he enjoyed considerable success but was soon replaced by former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble , after the latter was selected by the Cricket Advisory Committee as the new Indian coach last year.
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli had already made it clear to the BCCI that he wanted Shastri back at the helm of affairs and in just a bid to keep up to his wishes, the Indian board extended the date for the invitation of applications for the coach job till July 9, which allowed former all-rounder Shastri to apply for the job.
Officially, the BCCI said that they are reopening the process of receiving the applications as many earlier didn’t apply thinking that they do not stand any chance against Anil Kumble, who has been highly successful with the team in the last one year.
Now, things have become interesting as Shastri would now be interviewed by the CAC which comprises of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and former Sourav Ganguly. During the coach selection process last year, Ganguly was involved in a spat with Shastri when the latter felt, ‘disrespected’ as the former stylish left-hander wasn’t present during his interview.
Sourav, who had a meeting of the CAB to attend at that time later retaliated saying that he was, ‘deeply saddened’ by Shastri’s, ‘personal attack’.
Reportedly, Shastri was approached by board members for convincing him to apply for the job and he did so only after being assured that he’ll get the job. However, Shastri rubbished such reports.
The BCCI earlier had confirmed that the Indian team will have a new coach before they tour Sri Lanka and the process of selection would be held either by interview in person or via video conferencing in the week following the last date of receiving the applications.
Shastri, who is presently in London is expected to be back by the third week of July. He thus joins Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody in the list of favourites to succeed Kumble.