Shastri reappointed India head coach until 2021 Twenty20 World Cup - GulfToday

Shastri reappointed India head coach until 2021 Twenty20 World Cup

Shastri reappointed India head coach   until 2021 Twenty20 World Cup

Ravi Shastri’s performance with the Indian team saw him being given his third term at the helm.

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri has been reappointed as head coach of the men’s senior team, a cricket board selection panel announced on Friday.

Publicly backed by Indian captain Virat Kohli, 57-year-old Shastri was always the frontrunner as he got a two-year extension till the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup in India.

He saw off competition from former Indian all-rounder Robin Singh, former team manager Lalchand Rajput, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, Australia’s Tom Moody and Phil Simmons of West Indies. Former Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Moody had already been rejected last time (in 2017) and it was believed that former Kiwi coach Hesson would be the one giving Shastri a tough fight as he has the credential to match Shastri’s achievements

Hesson, who holds the distinction of being the longest serving coach of the Black Caps, has a vast coaching experience. His first international assignment was with Kenya after the 2011 World Cup.

He had signed a two-year contract but had resigned much before the completion of his tenure citing security reasons. He then replaced John Wright as the New Zealand coach in 2012.

Under his coaching, the Kiwis reached their first-ever World Cup final in 2015 where they lost to Australia. His contract was extended in 2016 until the end of the 2019 World Cup, but Hesson resigned in June 2018 in order to spend more time with his family.

Hesson also served as the head coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab before stepping down on Aug. 8 this year.

He is in running for the position of Pakistan’s head coach as well.

Simmons had backed out of the interview at the last minute due to personal reasons.

In the end, Shastri’s performance with the Indian team saw the former all-rounder being given his third term at the helm. With the team playing West Indies at present, Shastri connected with the committee over Skype.

The remaining candidates were interviewed by a three-member cricket advisory committee panel which included World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, ex-national coach Anshuman Gaekwad and ex-women’s team captain Shantha Rangaswamy.

Dev announced the decision at a Friday press conference.

“Number three was Tom Moody, number two was Mike Hesson. Number one is Ravi Shastri as all of you were expecting... (But) It was a very close race,” said Dev, adding that all the candidates were “excellent”.

After missing out on the coach’s job to Anil Kumble in 2016, Shastri was selected as the team’s head coach a year later for a term extending to the end of the 2019 World Cup. He was given a 45-day extension for the current West Indies tour.

Shastri coached India to a historic first-ever Test series win in Australia earlier this year following Test losses in South Africa and England.

But India’s semi-final exit in the 50-over World Cup following their loss to New Zealand last month brought speculation that Shastri’s tenure would be brought to an end. Since Shastri took the job, India have won 13 Tests out of 21, 25 out of 36 T20 matches and 43 out of 60 ODIs.

His next assignment will be the home series against South Africa, who will play three T20 internationals and three Tests starting next month.

Shastri was an all-rounder best known as part of the India’s World Cup-winning squad in 1983 and his man of the series performance in India’s World Championship triumph in Australia in 1985.

He was also team director from 2014 to 2016.

Shastri played 80 Tests and 150 one-day internationals for India before becoming a successful TV commentator.

India skipper Virat Kohli had already made his feelings clear before the tour of Windies when he said: “The CAC hasn’t contacted me yet. If they want my opinion, I’ll go and speak to them. With Ravi Bhai, we share a great camaraderie, and will definitely be very happy if he continues. But I haven’t been contacted so far.”

Agencies