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What can Shastri do in a few weeks?

The Indian cricket board’s decision to appoint Ravi Shastri as Director of Team India as the fires of defeat still burn on the current tour of England makes little sense in the long-term benefit of Indian cricket.

Shastri has been quoted as saying that his brief is to find out what went wrong in the Test series and file a report to the BCCI.

That sort of exercise could have been conducted even without Shastri being appointed as Director. On one hand, the BCCI stress that head coach Duncan Fletcher still enjoys their support. On the other, they have made Shastri his boss which clearly undermines the Zimbabwean’s position.

Who are the BCCI trying to hoodwink? That they continue to underestimate the intelligence of the game’s followers is downright insulting and disrespectful. Sending the fielding and bowling coach on leave cannot be called hard decisions. Sacking Fletcher for his non-performance on overseas tours would have counted as one.

One of the major problems afflicting the cricket establishment is the manner in which they play. In cricketing parlance, half cock which means a batsman playing half forward instead of stretching out fully while playing a ball.

Merely appointing Shastri for the limited overs series in England is like applying a band-aid on a deep wound. A thorough dissection of the England tour could have been done after the team returns from England. It would be unfair to blame captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni alone for the 1-3 debacle in the Test series, but he appears to be an untouchable in the current scenario. No other captain in the history of Indian cricket has enjoyed so much support from his board despite a horrific overseas record. In a scenario such as this, the media and fans cannot be blamed for bringing up the captain’s connections.

As for Shastri, he has delivered in every role, but at the end of the day, the BCCI has only brought in a man who has vehemently supported the organisation he once represented while playing for his country. In his attempt to steady the boat within 15 days, we wish him good luck.

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