Shastri to remain India head coach until World T20

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Ravi Shastri will remain head coach of the India men senior team, with his new contract extending up to the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.

The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) spent all of Friday interviewing five candidates for head coach, with a sixth – Phil Simmons – pulling out of the race. The CAC rated the candidates on five separate categories – coaching philosophy, experience, achievements, communication, and “knowledge of modern coaching tools”.

The three members of the CAC – former India captain Kapil Dev, former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad and the former India women captain Shanta Rangaswamy – agreed “unanimously” to retain Shastri’s services, Kapil announced, with Mike Hesson, the former New Zealand and Kings XI Punjab coach, and Tom Moody, the former Sri Lanka and Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, coming a close second and third respectively.

Apart from Shastri, Hesson and Moody, the CAC also interviewed Robin Singh, who has coached at four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians and was formerly India’s fielding coach, and Lalchand Rajput, India’s manager during their victorious World T20 campaign in 2007 and more recently coach of Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Hesson, Robin and Rajput made their presentations to the CAC in person, while Moody and Shastri – who is with the India team in the West Indies – appeared via teleconference.

The interviews for the remainder of India’s backroom staff will commence next week, tentatively from August 19-22. India’s senior selection panel was supposed to pick the head coach’s support staff, as per the BCCI’s new constitution, but ESPNcricinfo understands that the CAC wanted to have a say, and expressed its interest and wrote to the BCCI to get involved in the process.

The contracts of Shastri and his support staff were meant to expire at the end of the 2019 World Cup, but they were given a 45-day extension keeping in mind the West Indies tour. Ahead of his departure, India captain Virat Kohli made a public announcement that he would prefer if Shastri was to continue as head coach.

Shastri joined India’s backroom staff as team director during the 2014 tour of England, and remained in charge when head coach Duncan Fletcher’s tenure ended after the 2015 World Cup.

Shastri’s role as director ended when Anil Kumble became head coach in June 2016, but Kumble’s tenure lasted just over a year before ending in fractious circumstances after the Champions Trophy in 2017.

Shastri came back as head coach, and since then has overseen Test match wins in South Africa and England, and a maiden Test series win in Australia, in 2017-18. Under Shastri, India most recently reached the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in the UK, topping the round-robin phase of the tournament before exiting with a loss to New Zealand. (ESPNCricinfo)

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