The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce Team India’s support staff for the one-off Test and one-day international series in Bangladesh. Chief among appointments would be the Team Director, a role Ravi Shastri performed mid-way from the 2014 tour of England to the 2015 World Cup, where India only lost to eventual champions Australia in the semi-final.
With the Board planning the announcements just a few days before the team departs to Bangladesh, it gives one the impression that things are not firm, as they should be.
Sure, the appointment of the chief coach after the departure of Duncan Fletcher requires a good degree of time and debate among the best minds in Indian cricket, but the delay in announcing Shastri as Team Director is baffling. Ditto assistant coaches Bharat Arun and Sanjay Bangar, alongwith fielding coach R Sridhar.
From all accounts, this is a fine Indian team, which can only get better after their encouraging show in the World Cup. Just like players need confidence-boosting, support staff deserve to enjoy a certain sense of security as well.
Ideally, Shastri should be given a longer term, probably for a year, by which time Fletcher’s replacement as chief coach would have been fixed. In any case, the high-power committee that will help find a chief coach has not yet been officially announced, although names like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid have been mentioned as possibilities.
Ganguly’s name has emerged in the media as a coach candidate. This is strange as well, because Ganguly cannot be on a committee that selects him as coach. Till then, Shastri can serve as the non-playing boss.
While this is an exciting time for Indian cricket, it’s also a period that coincides with administrative challenges. Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya doesn’t appear to be in the best of health. And although young secretary Anurag Thakur appears dynamic, he needs to have an able president to drive the BCCI bus.