Ravi Shastri: India's record during his tenure as coach
The Cricket Advisory Committee will interview six candidates for the role of India's coach today.
A few days after Anil Kumble called it quits to end his stint as head coach of the Indian cricket team in 2017, Ravi Shastri padded up for the job. The BCCI reopened the procedure and again invited applications for the post and this time, Shastri who did not apply in the first go joined the race. Unsurprisingly, he stood at the top position on the podium in the foreseeable future.
If there was Kumble in 2016, there was Virender Sehwag in 2017 vying for the job but the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) did not take any risk this time around, thus reuniting the Virat Kohli and Shastri duo. For the first time, other coaches were also handed full-time contracts for two years that ended after the World Cup 2019. The positions are again up for grabs.
The CAC will today interview Shastri, Mike Hesson, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Robin Singh and Phil Simmons for the top job. A call on the other coaching positions will be taken by chief selector MSK Prasad and other four selectors.
Here's a look at Shastri's first full-time stint with India:
The high: India, and every other Asian team, had a dream to conquer Australia in Australia. Since their first tour to the continent in 1947, India finally dominated Aussies on their 2018-19 tour. After being whitewashed 0-4 in 2011-12 and losing 0-2 in 2014-15, India under Kohli beat Tim Paine's team 2-1.
Australia were without Steve Smith and David Warner, both serving ball-tampering bans, but still needed to be beaten in their own backyard. Led by their pace bowlers and Cheteshwar Pujara, India clinched a landmark maiden Test series victory on Australian soil.
Elated with India's commanding performance, Shastri rated this win as bigger than the 1983 World Cup title win and the 1985 World Championship triumph. The historic series win remains the pinnacle of Shastri's career as team India's head coach.
Before the World Cup, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane batted at No 4. Out of all these batsmen, only Rahane and Rayudu were backed to continue at that position. Ironically, Rahane is yet to play an ODI series since February 2018 while Rayudu retired from all forms of the game after being dropped for the World Cup.
Vijay Shankar was India's designated No 4 for the World Cup but failed to make a mark. Rishabh Pant batted at No 4 in India's last four matches in England and failed to convince.
There is nothing significant to talk about this format. For years, India have played almost similar teams in ODIs and T20Is. In 2016-17, Ashish Nehra was the sole T20 specialist and now it is Krunal Pandya.
In the T20I series against West Indies, the selectors did try out a new combination after resting Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The question that remains is: will India build a separate T20I squad for the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup or is the recent experiment a one-off?
Overall, India have played 32 T20Is (in bilateral series) under Shastri, winning 24 of those. The Nidahas Trophy win will be remembered for ages due to its climax, when Karthik hit Soumya Sarkar for a six off the last delivery to clinch India the title.