The past one month could be said to be one of the most turbulent phases for Indian cricket as it witnessed one of the most nadir moments in One day cricket. The storm which was brewing cut loose when India lost to Bangladesh in the round robin phase thereby jeopardizing its chances of making it to the next round. Its defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka meant a disgraceful exit from the World Cup also implying an early end to a much hyped campaign that saw team members and cricketers endorsing a series of products to make their presence felteverywhere!
The arrival of the team back home sparked off accusations and comments that added fuel to the already smoldering fire. Former coach Chappell was accused of leaking news to the media that accused senior players of high handed behavior. The developments also saw ‘Little Master’ Tendulkar speaking to the media, something that he had avoided in his 17 years of cricket. All the drama culminated in the resignation of the coach and the BCCI calling for an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation. It also asked a few former Indian captains like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and others to attend a meeting and give inputs to ameliorate Indian cricket.
In the review meeting, the board appointed former India captain Ravi Shastri as the manager of the Indian cricket team for the forthcoming tour of Bangladesh. The meeting also saw the post of coach being trifurcated wherein now there would be a manager, a bowling coach and a fielding coach to assist the team. Venkatesh Prasad, former India test bowler would be the bowling coach while former India all rounder Robin Singh would be the fielding coach.
The reason behind the trifurcation being the fact that the team for now needs a Man Manager rather than someone who teaches them the basic of cricket! Having had two stints with foreign coaches the board thought that an Indian might do a better job. The need was also felt for a person who could understand the psyche of the Indian players and help them grope with situations and problems. And this led to the selection of Ravi Shastri as the manager of the Indian cricket team. The move is an interim one till the time a suitable replacement for Greg Chappell is found.
Ravi Shastri, former captain of India has played with few players in the present Indian cricket team. A shrewd and astute cricketer, he captained the side on many occasions. Also a fantastic strategist and a tough competitor, he is someone who worked and earned his place in the side. He knows Indian cricket well and was a part of 1985 team that won the World Series of Cricket in Australia. For his magnificent performance in the tournament he was named Champion of the Champions and presented an Audi car!
Not a naturally gifted player, something that he candidly admits, he rose through the ranks through his grit, determination and hard work. A slow left arm spinner is what he began his cricketing career as but slowly became a force to reckon with bat. He turned out to be one of the most utility player of his times, wherein he would bowl his slow left arm leg spin and bat anywhere in the order!
He became the obvious choice for the slot of an opener when the team toured foreign countries like Australia and England. In difficult alien conditions where the ball seamed and bounced, he was chosen to open for his sheer tenacity to hang in the middle and face any hostile attack without fear. Come what the situation, he was there for the job!
And this is same expectation that the board has from him, to reinstate the faith and exuberance in a team that is witnessing its most nadir moments. Hope he brings his experience of the game and combines it with pulse of Indian cricket to rescue the Indian cricket boat that is mired in a storm!
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