Ravi Shastri says neither he nor Anil Kumble bigger than Indian cricket team | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ravi Shastri says neither he nor Anil Kumble bigger than Indian cricket team

Ravi Shastri, in his first press conference as new head coach of the Indian cricket team, said the real credit and onus of doing well lies with the Indian cricket team players. Here are the highlights of his and Virat Kohli’s interaction with the media in Mumbai today.

cricket Updated: Jul 19, 2017 17:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
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Indian cricket team's newly-appointed coach Ravi Shastri (L) and captain Virat Kohli during a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday.(AFP)

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri officially started a new innings as captain and head coach of the Indian cricket team on Wednesday. They addressed a press conference before leaving from the Sri Lanka tour, starting on July 26.

Shastri’s appointment and confusion surrounding the naming of the support staff made the recent selection process a dramatic affair. The episode was preceded by Anil Kumble resigning from the past of India coach following an ‘untenable’ relationship with captain Virat Kohli.

Shastri said that more than the coach, it is the players who should be in focus.

“I have matured since I last went to Sri Lanka.I have matured in the last two weeks. I will carry on from where I left. I don’t carry any baggage. Ravi Shastris and Anil Kumbles will go. It is the team that deserves the credit,” the 55-year-old Shastri said, while commenting on his second innings at the helm of Indian cricket team. Earlier, he was the Team Director from 2014 to 2016.

“When you play the game, you want your mind to be clear. That happens with good support staff. My job is to do the same thing for every player,” Shastri added.

He also backed Bharat Arun to do well as the new bowling coach. “Bharat Arun has a track record. His 15 years of coaching is outstanding. He knows these boys better than I do. In the last World Cup we took 77 wickets, and its because of him,” Shastri said.

India will play three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 international between July 26 and September 6, 2017.

2:41 pm IST: When you play the game you want your mind clear. That happens with good support staff. My job is to do the same thing for every player: Ravi Shastri

2:39 pm IST: Understanding and communication is important. It is for every relationship to be successful: Virat Kohli

2:38 pm IST: Bharat Arun has a track record. 15 years of coaching is outstanding. He knows these boys better than I do. In the last World Cup we took 77 wickets: Shastri: Ravi Shastri

2:37 pm IST: No added pressure. What has to happen will happen. I don’t take additional pressure. The responsibility has been given to me: Kohli

2:37 pm IST : We two have worked together in the past, so there will be no problem in adjusting: Virat Kohli

2:35 pm IST: I don’t come with any baggage. I have matured over the last couple of weeks. I have matured since I last went to Sri Lanka. I will carry on from where I left. I don’t carry any baggage. Ravi Shastris and Anil Kumbles will go. It is the team that deserves the credit: Ravi Shastri

2:34 pm IST: There have been lot of speculation. My job is to perform to the best of my abilities: Virat Kohli

2:31 pm IST: Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli arrive for press conference.

2:20 pm IST: There is an air of expectation from what Ravi Shastri will say about his role and what to expect from the support staff. Will Shastri come clear on Dravid and Zaheer Khan?

2:19 pm IST: The Indian Test squad is follow: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, W Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, M Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.

2:17 pm IST: The Indian team leaves for Colombo this evening. The tour starts with a practice match on July 21-22.

2:09 pm IST: Interestingly, Shastri has suggested Sachin Tendulkar’s name as a consultant. Apparently, Tendulkar backed Shastri as head coach.

1:55 pm IST: The selection of the support staff was quite dramatic. Ravi Shastri will surely be asked about the role Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid will play in the Indian team. Zaheer Khan and Dravid were recommended by the Cricket Advisory Committee as consultants but the BCCI has still not defined their roles. Sources say Shastri and Kohli are not comfortable with Zaheer and Dravid as travelling consultants.

1:50 pm IST: About 40 minutes to go for Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri’s joint press conference in Mumbai.

Ravi Shastri was Virat Kohli’s ‘choice’ as head coach. The duo had a fruitful relationship in the past and that includes a 2-1 Test series win against Sri Lanka in August 2015.

Shastri was named coach on July 11 after a lot of drama. Shastri replaced Anil Kumble, whose one-year contract expired at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy in June. Kumble did not wish to continue after Kohli was unhappy with Kumble’s style of functioning.

Shastri plans to adopt a more hands-off approach to the role than his predecessor Anil Kumble, with the 55-year-old saying he has no intention of trying to act as a tutor to the players. Shastri had lost the head coach’s job to Kumble in June 2016.

(With inputs from Harit Joshi)

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 12:15 IST