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Sourav Ganguly comes to terms with Shastri’s appointment as coach, says it's his turn to 'repay faith'

Ravi Shastri was recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 01, 2019, 06.03 PM IST
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Sourav Ganguly (L) has come around to understanding Ravi Shastri’s (R) appointment as India coach.
Sourav Ganguly has come around to understanding Ravi Shastri’s appointment as India coach. But like millions of fans, he wants the team to end its ICC drought.

Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri have not always seen ego to ego. The former Indian captain was part of the CAC (Cricket Advisory Committee) that picked Anil Kumble ahead of Shastri as coach in 2016. But recently in Mumbai, he conceded that Shastri was the right man to coach India.

Shastri, the 57-year-old former India allrounder, was recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension.“Ravi is the right choice. They didn't have too many choices as not many had applied (for the coach’s job)," Ganguly said at a promotional event organized by a fantasy gaming platform. India haven’t won an ICC trophy since the 2013 Champions Trophy. This needs to change, Ganguly said, echoing fan sentiment.

"The team has no dearth of talent,” said Ganguly, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president. “A team that has Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan is not short on talent. But it's also true that we lost the semifinals in the 2015 World Cup, in the 2016 T20 World Cup and now in 2019 World Cup. They will have to find a way to win knockout games. That is the puzzle they need to solve. They need some luck, take some risks, and find a way."

India Coach Selection: Ravi Shastri And Older Sages Who Bucked The Trend

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Ravi Shastri

23 Jul, 2019
The Indian cricket board is taking applications for the job of team coach till July 30. Purely in age terms, Taimur Ali Khan can apply.“Below 60 years of age” is the only age condition the BCCI has listed on its website for applicants. Taimur is two. Ravi Shastri, the current Indian coach, is a bit older. He is 57. Nothing against a young coach. But some legendary gurus in sport have been wise sages beyond 60. These are a few of them.
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The Kohli-Shastri combine has pieced together a potentially formidable unit, with the historic Test series win in Australia being the standout achievement under Shastri’s tenure. The World Cup, however, ended in disappointment. Ganguly reckons that performing under pressure remains the ultimate litmus test for gauging a team’s success.

"The team was capable, and it still is, but you have to start winning big games," said Ganguly. He emphasised that the selectors are faced with an abundance of riches, vis-à-vis talented youngsters, but the responsibility of converting natural ability into victories is held by the captain and coach.

The current, Kapil Dev-led CAC picked Shastri as the coach over an experienced field, comprising the likes of Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Mike Hesson and Robin Singh. It was later revealed that former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson had run Shastri close.

Ganguly said, "Ravi has been doing this for five years, and has now been given this responsibility for two more years. I don't think anyone else in history has got such a long time with the team. He is the right choice, but now he has to repay the faith placed in him. He has two T20 World Cups coming up (in 2020 and 2021), and in such big tournaments, India needs to find ways to win."

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