Gollapudi on WHY Ravi Shastri remains Coach of India

After interviewing five candidates on Friday and rating them on five different parameters – coaching philosophy, experience, achievements, communication, and knowledge of modern coaching tools – the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) chose to continue with Ravi Shastri as India head coach. Mike Hesson and Tom Moody finished second and third based on these ratings, CAC head Kapil Dev said. Here is a break-down of the process that led to Shastri’s reinstatement.

Who devised the rating system?

The BCCI originally devised the rating methodology while picking the head coach of the India women’s team late last year. The five parameters were arrived at after seeking suggestions from the current CAC, which slightly tweaked the original set of suggestions. WV Raman was appointed as the Indian women coach using the same parameters that were later applied for the men’s coach selection process.

In what order did the candidates appear?

The interview process began in the morning with Robin Singh, the former India allrounder, followed by former Mumbai captain Lalchand Rajput, who briefly served as India’s assistant coach a decade ago. Former Australia allrounder Moody was the third on the list and attended the interview via video-conference. Former New Zealand coach Hesson attended his interview in person, in the afternoon, while Shastri was the last to speak to the CAC, via video conference from the Caribbean, where he is on tour with the India team.

Where exactly did Shastri pip the others?

International experience, track record, and his plan for the way forward were the key areas that Shastri topped the scores in. ESPNcricinfo understands that Shastri began the interview speaking for around 20 minutes, explaining what the India team was like back when he took charge in 2017, when he replaced Anil Kumble, and went on to list India’s achievements under his watch, before going to what plans he had for the team going forward. Shastri, according to a CAC member, was precise, specific and clear.

Shastri’s new stint will involve two T20 World Cups, to be played in successive years – next year in Australia and then in India in 2021. In his first stint (as team director), India reached the semi-finals in 2016. Shastri has no T20 franchise coaching experience, unlike Hesson, Moody and Robin, who all have been involved in coaching roles in domestic T20 tournaments for several years.

However, with the inaugural World Test Championship having just commenced, and the ODI League to begin in May 2020, the CAC was keen on a coach who could handle the team across all three formats. Shastri is understood to have outscored his competitors in this regard. The CAC was impressed by the presentations of Hesson, Moody and even Robin, but felt none of the three had coached an international team recently, and were more involved in T20 leagues across the world.

So was Shastri’s appointment straightforward?

The CAC member disagreed. The person said tough questions were asked of Shastri, including why India could not win a few tough series or any world tournaments under his watch. Shastri is understood to have provided the break-up of the results, and in which areas the team came second, and what solutions he had in mind.

One of the members is believed to have asked what sort of a say Shastri had had in the India dressing room, given the widespread perception that Virat Kohli, the captain, leads the ship. Incidentally, Shastri himself had said the captain leads the ship when he took over as head coach in 2017. Shastri told the CAC that he would invite its members to the dressing room to observe the atmosphere. He stressed that wherever required he, as head coach, speaks out and discusses issues with everyone, and not just the captain.

Will Shastri have a say in the appointment of his support staff?

As per the new BCCI constitution, the selection panel will shortlist the candidates. It is understood that the head coach could be consulted before finalising the three assistant coaches – batting, bowling and fielding.


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