After much drama, Ravi Shastri will indeed be the new chief coach of the Indian cricket team with former fast bowling great Zaheer Khan being appointed the bowling coach for a period of two years. Rahul Dravid will take up the role of batting coach for overseas Test matches. Their contracts will be till 2019 World Cup, BCCI confirmed.
“On Cricket Advisory Committee’s recommendation, we have decided to appoint Ravi Shastri as the chief coach while Zaheer Khan will be appointed bowling coach for a period of two years,” BCCI acting president CK Khanna confirmed the development to PTI.
It will be third stint with the national team for 55- year-old Shastri, who was earlier a Cricket Manager during 2007 tour of Bangladesh and then Team Director from 2014 August to 2016 June during which India won Test overseas series versus Sri Lanka, reached the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup and World T20 semi-finals in 2016.
It was learnt that it was a fight between Shastri and Virender Sehwag but it was skipper Virat Kohli’s strong recommendation about Shastri’s earlier tenure that swung the deal in favour of BCCI’s ‘Man of All Seasons’.
Zaheer Khan, who last played international cricket in 2014, is considered to be one of finest exponents of swing bowling India has ever produced.
As the Indian team is to play Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid’s expertise as batting consultant will be immensely helpful for youngsters, said the BCCI release. Clarity over current batting coach Sanjay Bangar is awaited over the appointment of Dravid in this new role.