India’s abject surrender at Lord’s against England has put team coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli under the scanner with reports suggesting that the BCCI will be seeking answers from the duo.
India batting coach Sanjay Bangar, head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli

India’s abject surrender at Lord’s  against England has put team coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli under the scanner with reports suggesting that the BCCI will be seeking answers from the duo.

A BCCI official said that whatever the duo wanted, they were provided with and now if results don’t come, the Board is well within its rights to ask questions.

“Whatever they wanted, they were provided. Now if results don’t come, the Board is well within its rights to ask questions,” the official told PTI, adding, “We arranged white ball matches first. It was on the senior team’s insistence that we send the India A team during the same time starting the concept of ‘Shadow Tour’. Two senior India players (M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane) were accommodated for A team games.”

Murali Vijay bagged a pair in the second Test and could only manage 20 and 6 in the first Test at Edgbaston. Rahane, Indian vice-captain, too disappointed scoring a total of 48 runs in four innings so far.

The official was critical of coach Shastri and his support staff, who took over the reins of the Indian team in June 2017.

“Don’t forget under Shastri and current support staff, we have lost major Test series in Australia (0-2 in 2014-15), South Africa (1-2 in 2017-18). Now we are in dire straits in England.

“If you remember, BCCI removed Duncan Fletcher’s assistants Joe Dawes (bowling coach) and Trevor Penny (fielding coach) after India lost the Test series 1-3 in England. Shastri became the Director along with Sanjay Bangar, R Sridhar and Bharat Arun joining the support staff before the ODI series,” the official recalled.

The India team had complained about tight lack of preparation time owing to tight scheduling after 1-2 series loss in South Africa, but official insisted that the team had enough time to acclimatise with the conditions in England.

“The Indian team can’t complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white ball matches will be held before the Tests,” added the senior BCCI official.

Apart from Shastri and Kohli, the team’s poor performance has also put batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar in the dock.

Since Sridhar took over, the Indian slip fielders have dropped 50 catches with former Australian captain Ian Chappell also questioning the technique.

In case of Bangar, his biggest challenge was to get the players ready for tough away tours but even after four years, it is evident that he has not been able to provide a solution to their woes.

The question doing the rounds in the BCCI corridors is why the Shastri-Kohli duo has been given a free hand in team management.