Beaten and bruised in the Test series against England, Indian cricket could well be headed for more turmoil off the pitch after beleaguered skipper MS Dhoni on Sunday effectively rejected BCCI-appointed Ravi Shastri as director of cricket above coach Duncan Fletcher.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently reshuffled the team’s support staff after a 1-3 Test series drubbing, to send across a message to the cricketers.
But on the eve of the five-match One-day series, Dhoni effectively undermined former India skipper Ravi Shastri’s appointment, saying the under-fire coach was not only still the “boss”, but also would be in-charge when India head to Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup campaign in February.
“Definitely Duncan will lead us into the World Cup,” Dhoni told the media in Bristol. “We have Ravi who will look into everything, but Duncan is the boss. It’s not as if his powers or his position have been curtailed. We have a few other support staff who come into the dressing room but overall the operation remains the same.”
Asked about the BCCI replacing bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney with Bharat Arun and R Sridhar respectively, Dhoni said, “It’s a bit tough on Trevor and Joey, especially when fielders drop catches and the fielding coach has to miss the series.” Former India player Sanjay Bangar has also been brought in as assistant coach.
Shake-up, fresh faces renew hope but game plan vital
Saying the team was welcoming the new appointments, the skipper said, “We will have to give them some time to adjust to how we operate, and see what kind of input they bring to the table. Let’s hope for the best.”
(With agency inputs)