How relevant is Sourav Ganguly’s advisory panel, if Virat Kohli has the last word?
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How relevant is Sourav Ganguly’s advisory panel, if Virat Kohli has the last word?

Virat Kohli’s wish has prevailed regarding the appointment of Ravi Shahtri as the new India coach. It brings the exact role of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman under question.

cricket Updated: Jul 13, 2017 17:33 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ravi Shastri,Virat Kohli,Sourav Ganguly
Virat Kohli-led India got a new head coach in Ravi Shastri after a meeting by BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, which includes Virat Kohli. (AFP/Getty Images)

After immense drama for over two days, BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman came out and declared Ravi Shastri as the coach of the Indian men’s cricket team. It was not just the expected choice but was also known as the captain’s preferred one.

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Given it’s an advisory body, and its role is to ‘advise’ on matters related to Indian cricket, it’s only during the coach’s appointment that the committee is seen at its most active form. Also, there seemed to be a bit of a rift within the committee, the BCCI and the captain at the end of Monday when Ganguly said they wanted to speak to Virat first and ensure “everyone’s on the same page”. While, it was hardly a secret on who Kohli wanted at the hot seat, Ganguly said he didn’t understand “why is there so much hurry” to name the next coach.

Yet, they required an extra day. If speaking to the captain to appoint a coach and it’s his decision at the end of the day anyway, what role does the CAC play? Also, if the committee and the captain were on the same page, the delay wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

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Hence, it’s probably not just an advisory role that the committee seems to be playing at the moment but far more than that. They’ve been trying to exert their own opinion and choices during the selection, which is probably not the role of any advisory committee.

“I wouldn’t even call it warped. I’d say its all wrong,” Sandeep Patil, former coach and chairman of selectors, was quoted by Mid-Day in a report on Tuesday. “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?”

READ | Ravi Shastri: Five big challenges for Indian cricket team coach

Incidentally, Patil had applied for the post last year when Kumble had got the nod ahead of Ravi Shastri with a spat breaking out between the Shastri and Ganguly soon after.

Kumble was one of the late entries for the position of coach and yet he managed to get the nod. The team had one of its most successful run in recent times under Kumble but tensions soon cropped up and it was widely anticipated that the axe would fall on the former leg-spinner once India lost the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan. Instead, he chose to walk away unceremoniously as grapevines and dressing room secrets got selectively fed to the media.

READ | Why Virat Kohli will have not one but 3 big egos to manage in India cricket team

Besides just naming the next coach, the CAC is also expected to advise matters related to domestic cricket. But none of the three legends have yet been seen commenting or being active regarding it. None of them were even present during the last Ranji Trophy final between Mumbai and Gujarat earlier in January.

Under Shastri, India had reached the semifinals of both the ICC World Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup besides winning their first bilateral series in Australia by thrashing them 3-0 in the T20I series. Initially, he didn’t apply for the post but once Kumble backed out, the writing seemed to be on the wall.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 17:27 IST