Ravi Shastri’s appointment as India coach likely to solve complex issues

first_imgVirat Kohli and Anil Kumble did not communicate enough with each other – that is now a confirmed fact after India Today revealed the manager’s report from the Champions Trophy.Reports of a rift between Kohli and Kumble had first surfaced before India began their defence of the Champions Trophy in England. Kohli, on the eve of India’s tournament opener against Pakistan, dismissed these reports as mere speculation. (MS Dhoni needs to play till 2019 World Cup: Write him off at your own risk)But it was all crystal clear a couple of weeks later. Following a massive defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final, Kumble quit citing differences with Kohli. The captain, Kumble said, did not like his style of coaching and his role had become untenable.And then Kohli deleted a tweet he had put out welcoming Kumble as coach of India last year. That perhaps underlined how badly the relationship between the two had soured.There were reports that the captain and coach had stopped talking to each other. Kumble, India’s greatest match-winner, Kohli, young India’s new leader, were clearly at loggerheads.India Today has now accessed the team manager’s report which confirmed communication had broken down between Kohli and Kumble. Kapill Malhotra, who was Team India manager for the Champions Trophy, stated in his report the captain and coach did not communicate much with each other.They were all of course part of team meetings. Now, imagine. How distinctly difficult does it get for the team when the two most important cogs in the wheel do not “communicate with each other.”advertisementIndian cricket has been through this turmoil before. Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell had an ugly fallout and the whole team of superstars was up in arms against the Australian whose tenure as coach had wrecked havoc in the dressing-room.The Kumble-Kohli rift was of course totally different. Unlike Chappell, Kumble delivered results and had the empathy of former cricketers, who felt he was was disrespcted.But the show must go on and the BCCI’s vast machinery is hard at work to select Kumble’s successor.So, a year after Kumble’s ceremonious takeover as coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) will look at a new set of candidates to succeed a man who left under controversial circumstances.Among the men to be interviewed is Ravi Shastri, the former team director who shaped up the team before Kumble’s appointment. The others in contention are: Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Phil Simmons.Sehwag and Moody were the clear frontrunners till Shastri was convinced to apply again. He had thrown his hat in the ring last year too but Kumble was favoured over him. His entry this year means the CAC is seriously contemplating giving in to Kohli’s wish – the captain and team want him back in the dressing-room as coach.Shastri is well liked by the players and there is mutual respect. Overall, his approach was different to Kumble’s and players seem to trust him more.India were on a high in 2016, winning one Test series after another in a historic home season. But they will face some serious challenges in the months to come. Overseas tours of South Africa, Australia and England would need the team to play at its best.Kumble was fantastic as coach but something did not tick. Kohli was not very pleased. While many may argue that the captain got his way too easily, it is also important to understand that he is the man in charge on the field.Sehwag, it was understood, was the CAC’s second favourite in case Kumble did not continue. The former Delhi opener, however, might want to bring in his own support staff which may not be agreeable to the players – that they want Shastri is no secret.If bringing Shastri back at the helm gives the team some joy then so be it. He is a shrewd cricketer with a sharp cricketing brain and India did not do badly at all under his stewardship – their journey to the World Cup semi-final was memorable.last_img

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