The reappointed Ravi Shastri says his primary endeavour will be facilitating a smooth transition by the time he leaves the scene.
There will also be room for experimentation, he said, as the team looks to leave a lasting legacy.
Shastri, 57, was reappointed for a second term. As per BCCI’s constitution, the national team’s head coach has to be below 60 years, the age Shastri will be approaching by the time his current tenure ends. The 2023 World Cup still a long way and winning 2021 World T20 is the realistic goal for the team.
“Next two years is to see that smooth transition happens because you will get a lot of youngsters coming, especially into the white ball setup. There will be youngsters coming into the Test match setup as well,” Shastri told BCCI tv.
“You will need to identify another three-four bowlers to add to the pool, those are the challenges. So that the team, at the end of our tenure, in 26 months, my endeavour would be to leave the team in a happier place. So that they can leave a legacy for the time to come,” the former India all-rounder said.
He wants the team to leave the kind of legacy that future generations would find it difficult look to emulate.
“I had the belief that this team could leave a legacy very few teams have left behind in years to come, not just for the moment they are playing but at the end of it all... the kind of legacy other teams going down decades will want to try and emulate.
“That is the desire, we are on track. There is always room for improvement. And with youth coming in through the ranks, I think it’s very exciting time. When you strive for excellence and you strive to raise the bar day in, day out, then you got to pay attention to that detail. When you do mess up, you have an off day, don’t let that day go by, in fact, make sure that you are focussing and concentrating on how you can get over that barrier,” he said.
Shastri, who had the public backing of captain Virat Kohli even before the short-listing was initiated, has been reappointed for a two-year period, ending with the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.
Among all the candidates, Shastri’s record was unmatched as the team reached the No.1 ranking in Test matches under his guidance and won a series in Australia for the first time in 71 years, besides decent success in the limited overs format.
“It’s been superbly consistent if you look at the performance over the last two-three years. But like I said that is the bar they have set and now it’s up to them to raise the bar,” Shastri assessed the team’s performance in the last two years.
“There is no other way, they have to. Unless you make those efforts, even at the cost of certain results, you will not know what your best setup is. There is a time when you got to invest in getting youth into the side in ensuring that you have better combinations, you are better kept all-round.”
Shastri stressed on the improvements the current setup has made in fielding.
“On thing that is most important is that over the last four-five years the biggest improvement is fielding and the endeavour is to make this the best fielding side in the world.
“So it is a clear diktat to whoever wants to play for this team the standards of that particular player’s fielding will have to be of the highest level, especially in white ball cricket.”
“Collectively, looking at the coaches, the players, the team management the endeavour is to keep this consistency going and try and take it to another level.”
He also thanked the three-member committee led by Kapil Dev along with Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad for showing faith in him for another term.