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Cricket: Ravi Shastri appointed Head Coach, Zaheer Khan is bowling consultant

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri
The Board of Control for Cricket in  India (BCCI) late tonight named former Indian all-rounder Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian cricket team, while Zaheer Khan has been appointed as Team India's Bowling Consultant and Rahul Dravid as the Batting Consultant for overseas Test tours.
 
Dravid will continue as the India A and U-19 coach, a press release from BCCI said.
 
"As part of the process for selecting the Head Coach, the Board's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman conducted the interviews and recommended these appointments in the best interest of the Indian Cricket," the release said.
 
The term of the appointments will be till the World Cup 2019, it said.
 
Shastri has been the Team Director in the past, and brings with him a wealth of experience, both as player and as coach.
 
Khan is a contemporary cricketer who assumed the mentoring role to a young fast bowling unit even during his playing days with India. His inputs will be of immense value to our young fast bowlers, who have shown tremendous potential in the last couple of years, the release said.
 
"As the Indian team is to play Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid’s expertise as batting consultant will be immensely helpful for youngsters.
 
"The Board appreciates the contribution of the Cricket Advisory Committee – Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr. VVS Laxman for recommending these appointments which will take Indian Cricket to greater heights.
 
"The Board would like to wish these gentlemen the very best and they along with the players together will take Indian Cricket to new heights," the release added.
 
The CAC had met at the BCCI headquarters here yesterday to interview the final list of applicants for the coveted job.
 
Ganguly and Laxman attended the meeting in person while Tendulkar joined the panel via video conference.
 
Apart from Shastri, the CAC interviewed four other applicants -- Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput and Richard Pybus.
 
The CAC did not make announcement on that day, saying that they had decided to put forward their recommendation to the BCCI only after meeting captain Kohli.
 
Shastri, 55, succeeds former India captain Anil Kumble, who had been appointed head coach of the team in June last year for a one-year term.
 
Kumble had taken over from Shastri, during whose term as Team Director the Indian team had marched to the semi-finals in the ICC World Cup held in Australia and the ICC World T20 India 2016. With him as Team Director, India won the Test series in Sri Lanka after a gap of 22 years and also outplayed South Africa 3-0 in a four-Test home series before clinching the Asia Cup.
 
Kumble had resigned from the post of Head Coach on June 20 amid media reports of a rift between him and captain Virat Kohli.
 
The BCCI had on that day said that while the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Kumble had decided not to continue as the coach.
 
Kumble's decision came just two days after India's humiliating loss to Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy tournament.
 
His one-year contact expired at the end of that tournament but the BCCI had given him the option to travel with the Indian team to the West Indies for the limited overs series. But Kumble chose not to accompany the team and decided to stay back in London for the ICC Annual Conference, citing his commitments as the chairman of its Cricket Committee.
 
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According to various accounts, the BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and V V S Laxman, had conveyed to the Board that they had not been able to resolve the differences between Kumble and Kohli.
 
On May 25, before the start of the Champions Trophy tournament, the BCCI had invited applications from interested candidates for the position of Head Coach. Kumble was a direct entry for the process.
 
Born on May 27, 1962, Shastri, a right-hand bat and slow left-arm orthodox spinner, played for India, Mumbai and Glamorgan during his playing days. After retirement from active cricket, he has gone on to build a successful career as a commentator.
 
In all, he played 80 Tests for India, making 3830 runs at an average of 35.79 and taking 151 wickets at 40.96. He played 150 matches and made 3108 runs at an average of 29.04 and took 129 wickets at an average of 36.04. 
 
He captained India in one Test, against West Indies in Chennai in 1987-88, a match that India won. He also served as vice-captain of the team for many years. 
 
Though often criticised for his slow batting and his defensive bowling, he proved to be of great value to the side overall. He won the coveted Champion of Champions title, and the Audi car that came with it, in the World Championship in Australia in 1985. 
 
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