Ravi Shastri’s tenure with Team India will come to an end after the upcoming tour of West Indies. Shastri’s two-year contract was set to end after the World Cup before the BCCI gave him a 45-day extension.
The BCCI has invited applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physio, strength and conditioning coach and administrative manager for the Indian team on July 16. And while Shastri and his team will get an automatic entry into the recruitment process, should India continue to persist with Shastri as head coach or should they look in a different direction?
The obvious plus of continuing with Shastri is the equation he shared with skipper Virat Kohli. They always seem to be on the same page and that can mean that the team’s future planning won’t have too many anomalies. Under Shastri, India also won their first Test series in Australia. There weren’t any ICC trophies to show in his tenure but India’s consistency in the shorter formats can be regarded as praise-worthy. The youngsters also seem to have a very gung-ho attitude — perhaps that is the Kohli effect or maybe that is Shastri asking them to go ahead and ‘smash it.’ As of this moment, India are the world’s best Test team according to the ICC rankings, second in the ODI rankings and fifth in the T20 rankings.
On the other hand, Shastri’s detractors will point to India’s revolving door approach to selecting the playing XI. Kohli may want that but should Shastri as coach be prepared to disagree with the skipper at times? While the bowling has come along beautifully under Shastri [thanks mostly to bowling coach Bharat Arun], the batting’s technical flaws have been exposed. The Test opening slots remain a worry as does the No 4 batting position in ODIs. Is Shastri the right man to help a new generation of youngsters find their feet in international cricket?
So, what do you think? Is Shastri the right man to continue as India coach or is it time for change? The floor is now open.
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