Off late, there has been a lot of speculation regarding who would replace Anil Kumble as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. The Anil Kumble – Virat Kohli rift has resulted in this matter getting highlighted throughout the media.
There are quite a few contenders who have already applied including Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput and a few more. The BCCI was not satisfied with the five applicants and hence, they decided to invite applications for the post once again after Kumble had to resign.
Former Team India Director Ravi Shastri, who faced axing from his post last year, has decided too apply for the role once again this time. The former leg spinner confirmed the news to The Indian Express while also squashing all rumours that his condition was that he would apply only if he was assured of getting the job.
“Yes, I have decided to apply for the job.” he told Indian Express.
It is extremely interesting that Virat Kohli had approached Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman during the Champions Trophy in England and had asked them to consider ‘inviting’ Ravi Shastri for the post. Shastri was not one of the original applicants. However, it can be assumed that Virat Kohli convinced him to apply for the post especially because Kohli and Shastri share a great rapport in the dressing room and Shastri has never shied away from admitting that he is a huge fan of the Indian skipper.
The 55-year old commentator took over from Duncan Fletcher in August 2014 and continued till March 2016 when India lost to West Indies in the semi-final of the World T20. India also made it to the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015. He was a part of quite a few memorable series win for India as well.
Virat Kohli has never had issues working with this man and that is why he may just be in contention to get back to the Indian dressing room. Anil Kumble beat Shastri to become the head coach last year and now it seems the tides have turned. With the Captain favouring Shastri, the Cricket Advisory Committee will have to take a call based on the interviews conducted.
The one thing that may affect Shastri’s chances is his feud with Sourav Ganguly, who is a member of the COA, which is no secret. Ravi Shastri has played dirty many a time and his issues with Ganguly may just come back to haunt him and rightly so.
It will be interesting to see how the interviews go and if Shastri can beat the likes of Sehwag, Moody, Rajput and others to get back to the helm after a one-year hiatus. Virat Kohli was granted his demand of removal of legendary spinner Anil Kumble in spite of him delivering the goods.
Now it remains to be seen if even in this case, Kohli gets his way again or the COA can show that its existence has a purpose. Dancing to the whims and fancies of a young arrogant captain can set a horrible precedence for the future of Indian cricket. It should be clearly understood that the captain is not above board and can be pulled up at any time. Cricket is a sport and politics should be kept out of this. The ball is firmly in the COA’s court. Let’s see if they deliver a smash or concede an ace.