Ravi Shastri’s reappointment as Team India’s head coach is more or less confirmed after Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Anshuman Gaekwad has given his thumbs up to former India all-rounder. Gaekwad is one of the members of the ad-hoc panel which is constituted to pick the right man for one of world cricket’s most coveted job – ‘head coach of Team India’. Kapil Dev-led CAC is selected by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) to maintain transparency in the process. It also has former women’s cricketer – Shantha Rangaswamy.
After having served as India’s coach from 1997 to 1999, the former India opener Gaekwad feels Shastri’s position at the helm of affairs is under no threat whatsoever. However, he was quick to add that apart from the head coach all the other positions – batting, bowling and fielding coach, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, and an administrative manager – are open and the committee will select the best possible candidate among the applicants.
“Speaking purely from the results perspective, he has done quite well. So, besides Ravi, all other positions [in the coaching and support staff] in my opinion are open depending on who is applying, their credentials and whether they meet the criteria of the BCCI,” Gaekwad was quoted as saying by Mid-day.
Under Shastri’s regime since 2017, the Men in Blue have produced some fantastic results – from touching new heights by reaching the pinnacle in Test rankings to claiming the second spot in ODIs. After good performances in South Africa and England, Virat Kohli and Co. created history by registering their maiden Test series win on Australian soil. Speaking about breaking the trend of letting the head coach bring in his own support staff, Gaekwad said the committee will look into candidates on what they can deliver.
“I had just a doctor for myself when I was coach. It is about competency along with a comfort zone. It [getting own support staff members] is basically an understanding to deliver. We will look at candidates purely on what they can deliver for this team,” he said.
“It looks easy from outside, but it is not. There are minor things that are very important. Compatibility with the captain and other players is an important aspect. Man-management is the most important factor because technically, there is very little that you do at the highest level. And I know how important man-management is from my personal experience as a coach,” the former India batsman said.
So far, the buzz around the vacancy of Team India coach has been pretty ordinary. There have been reports of former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson and former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena applying for the position but compared to last time, there is a dearth of big names.
Gaekwad also expressed his desire of taking Indian cricketer’s viewpoint into account before selecting the right man for the top post. However, he was quick to point out that it can only happen if the board allows the ad-hoc committee to do so.
“We are complete outsiders. We would love to speak to a few players to understand what they feel if the BCCI permits us. If it is not possible to speak to them, then we will go with our expert opinion like we did with the selection of the women’s coach. Rest assured, we will pick the best people to enhance our (India’s) performance,” he concluded.
The last date to apply for India’s head coach and other positions is July 30.