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Ravi Shastri says no tiff with Sourav Ganguly, health of Indian cricket priority

Ravi Shastri, new Indian cricket team coach, said that he has no personal tiff with Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) member Sourav Ganguly, who had earlier rejected him and was the pivotal figure to appoint Anil Kumble as India coach - a year back

cricket Updated: Jul 12, 2017 18:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ravi Shastri says he was asked good questions by Sourav Ganguly during the interview for Indian cricket team’s head coach’s job.
Ravi Shastri says he was asked good questions by Sourav Ganguly during the interview for Indian cricket team’s head coach’s job.(AFP/Getty Images)

Ravi Shastri, a day after being named as the next Indian cricket team head coach, announced that individuals don’t matter in his philosophy. The former India captain added that Team India is the priority.

The 55-year-old Shastri was answering to a question on his frosty relationship with Sourav Ganguly, member of Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). A year back, Ganguly had rejected Shastri and was the pivotal figure to appoint Anil Kumble as India coach.

But after being named the India coach, Shastri said it was time to move on.

“There will be arguments, but we need to look at the bigger picture. He (Ganguly) asked some very good questions during my interview. We need to move on.

“Individual don’t matter, and we should all work in the best interest of Indian cricket. It should take the centre-stage,” Shastri said in an interview to India Today.

In fact, after the initial interviews on Monday, Sourav Ganguly said that the CAC would name the coach only after discussions with Kohli. There were even reports that Ganguly was not on the same page with others regarding Shastri being the coach. However, late on Tuesday Ravi Shastri was confirmed as the coach.

READ | Ravi Shastri named India coach after intense drama: Suresh Raina & others react

Great expectations

Ravi Shastri, who has been the Team Director of India, said that Indian team and Virat Kohli can reach great heights in the next few years.

READ | Ravi Shastri - Indian cricket team’s ultimate comeback man

“I think Virat has not yet reached his peak. The next five to six years will define Virat Kohli. The current Indian team can be No. 1 across all formats. It can be better Test team than any Indian side of the past. It has the skill, the potential. We have a battery of fast bowlers who can take 20 wickets,” he said.

“This is a team you can travel with. There are bowlers who can do well in all conditions. Their age is such that they are playing at the right time,”

Rapport with Zaheer, Dravid

While Ravi Shastri’s appointment as India coach was anticipated, the real surprise came when BCCI announced as Rahul Dravid as the overseas batting consultant and Zaheer Khan as the bowling coach. Dravid is also the India A and India Under-19 coach.

Regarding working with bowling coach Zaheer Khan and overseas batting consultant Rahul Dravid, Shastri said: “Their inputs will be invaluable. In fact when I was the Team Director, I had as the two of them to come and talk to the team ahead of tours. Any good suggestion will be welcome,” he said.

Asked about the challenges of coaching the Indian team, especially after his predecessor and former India skipper Kumble’s one-year stint ended on a sour note amid widespread reports of a tiff with Kohli, Shastri said he is up for the challenge.

“I have always relished a challenge and I am looking forward to my stint with India. When you are asked to open the batting in overcast conditions, it is a challenge.”

“I am used to challenges, bring on another one,” Shastri said.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 15:45 IST

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