The Indian team’s semi-final exit from the 2019 World Cup has set a motion that may get a number of heads rolling. Virat Kohli has not had the unanimous backing of the team to continue his captaincy duties. Many are of the opinion that vice-captain Rohit Sharma should be handed over the reins of the team. Senior wicket-keeper MS Dhoni’s role in the teams future stands drastically undecided. Captaincy and core-team issues aside, there are several doubts concerning the management. The most notable one of them being Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach.
In 2014, Ravi Shastri joined the Indian team at England as the team director, a role he continued till the 2015 World Cup. On July 2017, Anil Kumble was officially relieved off his duties, and Ravi Shastri was appointed as the head coach. Many had at the time speculated, that captain Kohli could operate much more independently under Shastri’s mentoring. Some postulated further, claiming Kohli had a role in Kumble’s ousting as the coach.
Ravi Shastri’s Record
Under Shastri, the Indian team won a test match each in England and South Africa, despite losing both the series. The highlight, however, was India’s maiden test series victory in Australia, something no Indian team of the past had ever achieved. Subsequent ODI series wins against New Zealand and Australia added an extra stripe on his CV.
India defeated by New Zealand in the Semi-Finals
The backlash, however, started to draw-in from the moment India exited the World Cup. An 18-run defeat against eventual runners-up New Zealand greatly surprised the cricketing fraternity. Considering India had started as favorites to win the tournament, the sentiments of resentment gradually started to amplify. Ultimately, the BCCI, who had previously announced to extend Shastri’s contract for 45 days (after the World Cup), officially invited new applications for the various coaching posts. The roles of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and bowling coach Bharat Arun also stands uncertain.
Big Names for Team India New Coach:
Naturally, amidst all the speculations that have been going on, some names have come-up more prominently than others’ who are being viewed as front-runners for the job(s). Some of the big names among them are Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag. It is also understood that renowned foreign candidates such as Tom Moody, Trevor Bayliss and Heath Streak, would be given lesser preference.
The Eligibility Criterion For Team India New Coach
In the form BCCI have uploaded on the website, the BCCI has also provided eligibility criteria for the coach candidates. Here are some key points from the list:
- Head Coach of a full member Test Playing Nation for a minimum period of 2 years OR;
- Head Coach of an Associate member /IPL or Equivalent International Leagues/First Class Teams/ National A teams, for a minimum period of 3 years
- Should have played a minimum of 30 Test Matches OR 50 ODIS OR;
- Should have BCCI Level 3 Certification or equivalent
- below 60 years of age.
Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly can’t become India New Coach:
The criterion list essentially rules out some of the candidates who were hyped for the role. Sehwag (40) and Ganguly (47), both meet the minimum 30 tests and 50 ODI condition. When it comes to coaching though, that’s where they lag behind others. Sehwag officially mentored IPL side Kings XI Punjab from 2016 to 2018. Ganguly, too, mentored the Delhi Capitals in this year’s IPL. However, since mentoring does not qualify as coaching, the chances of them appear slim.
While there are many other candidates in the fray, the criterion list essentially rules out some of the legend players from the post. The Kapil Dev led ad-hoc panel will most likely take the final call about the coach.