Sandeep Patil, a former player and chief selector, criticised the selection process for India’s next coach in a hard-hitting interview to Mid-Day on Thursday.
Questioning the Cricket Advisory Committee, which comprises of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman which picked Ravi Shastri as India’s next head coach on Tuesday, Patil said, “I wouldn’t even call it warped. I’d say it’s all wrong. Sachin, Sourav and Laxman are absolute legends as players and have done great things for the country, but none of them have coached a team. Do coaches pick umpires and vice-versa?”
The 60-year-old, who has also coached Kenya and Oman in addition to a brief stint with India, took umbrage at the fact that the CAC had not made the coach announcement on Monday itself. Ganguly had then stated that the committee needed more time and needed to speak to current captain Virat Kohli.
“It’s like passing the buck, and a bit like saying, ‘Look we have identified the next coach and now it’s up to you’. Is this all done to play safe because of the Lodha Panel recommendations?” said Patil.
However, the former chief selector backed Ravi Shastri for the top job while stating that the popular commentator should have been made the team mentor or the director, rather than the coach.
“I have known Ravi for a very long time. He was my room partner during my playing days, he was chairman of the National Cricket Academy when I was NCA Director and he was Team Director when I was India’s chief selector, but he’s not exactly a coach,” said Patil. “I remember Gautam Gambhir saying last year, ‘Ask Ravi Shastri how many throw-downs he did in the last 18 months.’ The Team Director post would have suited Ravi better.”