After taking the position from Anil Kumble as an Indian coach, Ravi Shastri is very clear on one thing that ‘the captain is the boss of the team. He and his backroom staff are only to help the players are in the right frame of mind to perform at their best.
Shastri was a team director just before Kumble was appointed as coach last year, he said disappointed when he was overlooked as head coach in 2016. However, after Kumble’s contract expired in June 2017, BCCI decided not to renew it and sent out an advertisement seeking candidates for the position.
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman finding India’s next coach told the BCCI that Kumble remained their first choice. But Kumble stepped down after realising the differences between him and the captain Virat Kohli had become “untenable.”
Talking about earlier selection, recent new Indian coach Shastri said to ‘Times of India’ “I had not really wrapped my head around the gravity of the situation. There was nothing personal. I really hadn’t begun to understand the seriousness of this. But when I sat down and gave it a serious thought, I began to tell myself.”
“Here is a unit that I have been part of and enjoyed a great working relationship with. Having been part of the unit that helped it become No. 1, I thought the onus is on me now to make it work again, in the best interests of everybody involved. That’s when I knew it’s time for me to apply again.”
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Taking about happy to let the captain charge, Shastri said “It’s always the captain’s team and it is the leader who calls the shots. That’s how it has always worked. A coach’s role, effectively speaking, is to stay in the background and let the onus be on the players.”
“The coach and support staff’s role is to get the players in the most brilliant frame of mind to execute things and if done effectively, it brings enjoyment to the player’s game.”
Shastri said about his relationship with the support staff, “I’m simply going to press the refresh button and begin from where I left. I know what I’m stepping into, players have an idea of what’s coming, so that ticks the first box.”
“Just to give you an idea, I won’t be spending the first six to eight months in the job warming up to the team. That had already been accomplished in my previous stint. This time, it’s going to be about getting on the job from day one.”