"My return in 2017 was egg on the face of those who didn't want me as India coach"

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10 Dec 2021 | 03:02 AM
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"My return in 2017 was egg on the face of those who didn't want me as India coach"

Shastri was not considered for the role back in 2016 despite having a good stint with the side as the Director before Anil Kumble took over

India had some spectacular success under the tenure of Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian team, where India went on to beat Australia twice in their own den and is just a draw away from securing a historic Test series win in England. Shastri enjoyed the confidence of the players who have spoken glowingly about him and that helped him create a thriving culture within the squad.

However, he was not considered for the role back in 2016 despite having a good stint with the side as the Director before Anil Kumble took over. There were stories of Sourav Ganguly, then a CAC member, opposing Shastri for the role but later in 2017 when Kumble stepped down after having a serious problem with Virat Kohli, Shastri returned as the Indian coach.

Speaking about the 2016 exit, the Mumbaikar, in an interview with Times of India, said, "There was this bolt from the blue. In less than two years after I was asked to set aside my broadcast career, leave everything else and join the team, I suddenly found myself out for no reason. I had sown the seeds and the fruits were beginning to show and out of nowhere I came to know I was being replaced. Nobody told me why.

"It hurt because of the manner in which it was done. For all that I had contributed, just on one word from the BCCI, there were better ways to let me know "Oh look we don't want you, we don't like you. We want somebody else - if that was the case. Anyway, I went back to do what I do best - which is television. Around nine months passed, and I didn't even have a clue that there was anything wrong inside the team. I mean, what could've been wrong? I was told there was a real problem and I said - how can there be a problem in nine months?

"The team that I had left was in such a good space. How the hell in nine months could something go that drastically wrong? During my second stint, I came after a huge controversy. And it was literally egg on the faces of those who wanted me away. They opted for someone and nine months later, they came back to the very guy they threw ou," Shastri added.

Zaheer Khan was appointed as the bowling coach by the Cricket Advisory Committee in 2017 but Shastri demanded Bharat Arun for the role, having previously worked with him in several capacities. He eventually found his way and Arun established himself as one of the finest in the business. 

"They didn't want to give me Bharat Arun either as the bowling coach. And looking at how things pan out - the very guy they didn't want as the bowling coach went on to become the finest this country has ever had. And I'm not pointing any fingers at people in general. Specific people. I must say an attempt was made to ensure I don't get the job. But such is life."

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