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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Ravi Shatri seems to have been still clinging onto the exalted head coach post of the Indian cricket team. Ever since the former all-rounder stepped down as the head coach, he has been firing on all cylinders and venting out his frustrations at the BCCI. Apart from the scathing attack on the Board, he is often boasting about his role in the elevation of the team and certain players to the top ranks. However, Shastri’s behaviour has reportedly not gone down well with the BCCI authorities and some former cricketers.


In the latest instance, the former coach revealed that it was he who persuaded skipper Virat Kohli to include opener Shikhar Dhawan in the playing XI during India tour of Sri Lanka in 2017. As per Shastri, Virat was not convinced, but the former himself was sure that the move would pay off. Eventually, Dhawan, who had starred for the Men in Blue in the Champions Trophy, finished as the top scorer in the tournament, with 338 runs at a staggering average of 67.60.


Earlier, Shastri had opened up that he was bamboozled by the selection committee which had decided to pick three wicket-keepers in the Indian cricket squad at the time of the 2019 World Cup. Shastri expressed how he was completely against the idea of having Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, all in the same squad.

 

Shastri also shared that he would have preferred somebody like Ambati Rayudu or Shreyas Iyer in the squad who could have looked after the batting woes at the number four spot, which has proven to be the Achilles’ heel for the Men in Blue in the past.


However, former selector Sarandeep Singh lambasted Ravi Shastri over his remarks regarding the logic behind the three wicketkeeper-batters in India’s 2019 Cricket World Cup squad. Singh explained that the selection committee did nothing without discussing it with the captain Kohli and the then coach Shastri.


“All the three wicket-keepers are very good as batsmen. A selector does not interfere in selection. Rishabh Pant was selected when Dhawan got injured during the World Cup. We already had an opener in KL Rahul. So, we were looking for someone to come and bat in the middle order and play big shots. This is the reason why Pant was in the team,” said Singh.


“MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were in the team and we were winning all the matches. We even topped the table. But suddenly with these things coming, it is upsetting for us because we did our job fairly,” added Sarandeep.


Shastri had also slammed the Board earlier for its lack of clarity and on how he was kept in the dark for the head coach job after being let go in 2016 despite fetching decent results with the side in his first stint.


“It came as an absolute shock when I was not appointed as the head coach in 2016 especially when I was asked to give up my career as a broadcaster. Some of the members of the Indian cricket board were consciously trying to refuse me the official title for the job of the head coach,” Shastri had said.


On the other hand, many BCCI officials and former cricketers slammed Shastri for his alleged immature behaviour.


“Shastri was given a long rope as the head coach. Everybody respects his role as a coach in shaping the team. Shastri’s childish remark on BCCI is not acceptable,” said a former cricketer.

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