Ravi Shastri has got off to a superb start to his coaching stint with India after he was appointed as the head coach last month. India defeated Sri Lanka in all the 9 matches on the tour and it was the kind of beginning Shastri would have hoped for after all the drama that unfolded in the selection of coach.
The former captain was appointed the director of the Indian team for India’s tour of England in 2014 and held the post until his contract expired in June 2016. He had applied for the coach’s post after that but the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman opted for Anil Kumble as the head coach.
Ravi Shastri revealed that he was disappointed for not being picked after all the hard work of 2 years. “I was disappointed when I wasn’t picked as the coach in 2016,” Shastri told India Today’s Boria Majumdar in an exclusive chat.
After a year, the rifts between the skipper Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble emerged and ultimately, Kumble resigned. Shastri once again applied for the job and this time, the CAC accepted his application. He said that the dressing room was happy to have him back.
“When I came back, there were smiles everywhere in the dressing room. The nucleus of the players is very much same as what it was when I was there. There was no trust factor in the dressing room but that changed quickly,” he said.
As he returned at the helm of affairs, he brought back his desired support staff – Bharat Arun as the fielding coach, Sanjay Bangar as the batting coach and R Sridhar as the fielding coach. “I believe in continuity and that’s why I got the same support staff back,” he added.
Dhoni is still the best
While the fingers have been raised increasingly on India’s wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni for his reduced prowess with the growing age but Shastri believes that Dhoni is still an asset to the team.
“Dhoni is still the best wicketkeeper in the world and he is the quickest. The break from Test cricket has been great for Dhoni. He is an asset to the Indian team. He is an elder statesman in the dressing room,” Shastri said.