Kolkata: Ravi Shastri was one of the favourites to be picked as the new coach of the Indian team after Anil Kumble’s departure because he had the support of skipper Virat Kohli. While his appointment was no surprise, the Cricket Advisory Committee’s move of delaying the decision initially had come as a surprise to many.
According to reports in The Times of India, before leaving for the Champions Trophy, skipper Kohli had met Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman-two of the members of the CAC-the panel entrusted with the role of selecting India’s next head coach.
Both Laxman and Tendulkar were supportive of Ravi Shastri getting the job whereas the other member-Sourav Ganguly, was quite against this, which possibly might be the result of the spat the both of them were engaged in last year during the coach selection process.
According to reports, differences arose within the three-member body over Ravi Shastri. The Indian skipper met both these CAC members at the time when talks of him and Kumble involved in a conflict was running wild in the media. The alleged rift between the two was confirmed in Kumble’s resignation letter where he stated that he shared an, ‘untenable’ relationship with the Indian captain.
It is not a big deal to provide the team with a coach according to their preference and choice but Kohli’s meeting with Sachin and Laxman in the absence of Sourav Ganguly was not taken in good light by the former Indian skipper who went on to say that Kohli hasn’t given his recommendation for the job of the coach. But at the end, Kohli’s meeting with the two ended on a positive note for Shastri, who was given the job.
Things turn out to be absolutely clear as Shastri, who hadn’t applied for the job initially when the board had advertised for the post for the first time, decided to throw his hat only when he was given an assurance by Tendulkar of getting the top job.
Shastri thus went past favourites like Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody (who has a good amount of coaching experience) to walk away with a two-year contract with the Indian team, that would see him at the helm of affairs till the 2019 World Cup.
Shastri’s influence also led to Bharat Arun getting the job of the bowling coach as all the other support staff under Kumble’s tenure were retained.