Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former India captain Ravi Shastri, who was recently appointed as the national team’s director of cricket for the upcoming ODI series against England, has announced that his “role is to oversee everything”.
“My role is to oversee everything,” Shastri told ESPNcricinfo. “All of them report to me.”
Shastri also made it clear that head coach Duncan Fletcher would be keeping his position, even after India were battered 3-1 by England in the recently concluded five-Test series.
However, bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney were not as lucky as Fletcher and they were “given a break” for the ODI series.
Shastri did not waste any time in calling up Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and Ramakrishnan Sridhar as their replacements.
“Absolutely not,” Shastri said when asked if Fletcher would be sidelined. “He stays as the head coach. And these two (Bangar and Arun) will be his assistants. I am there to oversee.”
Shastri also revealed that he already had a two-hour long meeting with Fletcher and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the team hotel to decide on a gameplan for the ODI series, which gets underway on August 25 in Bristol.
“We had a chat about where things are at the moment and how things have to be addressed,” he said. “And how important communication will be.”
However, it was not too long ago that Shastri was calling the national team “spineless for their horrendous performance in the Test series.
“On this tour I saw India’s greatest ever overseas win,” he had said. “I know it because I have never seen a track like that and with this kind of inexperienced side, for them to pull it off… Then I also saw some spineless cricket over the last three Tests matches. Spineless means stomach for a fight. People would have accepted 3-1 if there was a little more fight.”
Shastri also grew more and more frustrated at the fact that none of the Indian players seemed to be learning from their mistakes.
“My only disappointment was players at times making the same mistake,” Shastri said. “That disappointed me. Everyone makes a mistake, but you want to try something different.”
Following India’s innings and 244-run pummelling in the fifth Test at The Oval, which is now their third-largest defeat in Test history, Shastri wrote: “Five sessions and not five days have been enough to nail them. But move on we must. Sit back and watch if these glam boys are ready for penance.
“I was hard on Pujara and Kohli specifically because they came here with big reputations. And they have been brought down to earth with their techniques being found out against the moving ball. And there is nothing wrong in that, it has happened to the biggest players. Now the true test of their character will be: how they bounce back. I have absolutely no doubt that not only will they bounce back, they will excel very, very soon.”