Dear Mr. Shastri,
Too comfortable to be in comfort zone.
Bygones are bygones, Shastri sir, please do not try to stir a hornet’s nest by un accepting your non-selection as the chief coach of the current Indian cricket team? and creating a controversy over frivolous thing. An individual with good sportsman spirit would have left with two choices either to exit gracefully or bounce back the next time instead you chose the third route - to blame external environment (the selector).
I believe you did not take the job of Team India coach seriously else how can one explain your stand on attending such a responsible interview over just a video chat sitting in another country. This clearly indicates your over confidence as you took the interview and the panel as granted or probably you thought that the job was already pocketed by you. Weren’t you a part of such committee in the past, would you have allowed somebody to attend the interview sitting at another part of the world hence let’s accept it that you as an individual did not follow a process.
Maybe the BCCI also should share this blame as they should have disallowed you in attending the video chat or probably they too like you viewed this job not seriously.
During your eighteen month stint as director of Team India, we just managed to reach the Semis of both World Cup’15 and the World T20 ’16. Although we managed to reclaim the no.1 test team for 8 weeks till Feb’ 16 it was primarily because South Africa was dethroned 2-0 by England.
Currently India ranks No.2 in ICC test rankings, No. 3 in One day Internationals despite playing maximum number of limited over matches and ranks No.2 in the smaller or T20 format. When it comes to individual players none of the Indian players figure in the Top 10 test batsmen, though a solitary Virat Kohli appears as no. 1 player in T20 format and no. 2 player in the one day format.
The common thread between you and the current coach of Team India Anil Kumble is both stand tall at 6’ 3’’ inches but the playing statistics narrate a different story.
Though it is wrong on my part to compare two individuals let’s explore some playing statistics about you and Anil Kumble. (incl.)
Anil Kumble served Team India as a player for little over 18 years as against 11 years of yours which naturally states Anil Kumble managed to stay fit and contribute more to Indian cricket by playing more number of tests and limited over Internationals.
It was a landmark occasion in 1985 when your name was getting etched in the history of Indian cricket as you were crowned ‘Champions of Champions’ playing against Seven ICC ranking teams disapproving many myths that India won the 1983 world cup as Fluke. I was one amongst the fortunate to see you bring a C3Audi 100 car but let’s not give the devil his due as Anil Kumble has worn more awards and accolades for team India.
You clobbered six sixes a part time bowler Raj Tilak in one of the first class matches in stark contrast to Anil Kumble who is the only Indian bowler to achieve 10 wicket haul in a single innings against the mighty Pakistanis helping us to win the test match single handedly. Even the world cup statistics are not in your favour as against 14 matches played by you in World cup Anil Kumble has played 18 matches.
Anil Kumble is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and Arjuna award instituted by Government of India. Perhaps you have forgotten the image of a heavily bandaged Anil Kumble claiming the price scalp of Brian Lara when he came to bowl against West Indies despite having a broken jaw during the year 2002 in a insignificant drawn match only because he did not like availing rest.
Anil Kumble is the leading wicket taker for India with over 600 scalps and is an embodiment of discipline, strong willpower and commitment to fineness with astute knowledge of cricket which can be matched only by a few. Anil Kumble has managed to bowl 40,000 balls in his entire test career against 15,000 by you.
Let’s take a huge lesson from Anil Kumble who in his first media interaction post his appointment as coach said the success of The Indian cricket team depends on the players and not who was the head coach. It’s not about Ravi or Anil. We all want the Indian team to do well. Ravi was part of this journey now I am part of this journey. It could be somebody else tomorrow. I am not permanent here in this role.
The trio of Sachin, Laxman and Saurav has done a wise choice in appointing Anil Kumble and it would a great help to our nation if you with your experience help team build team India and make our team and each individual the best performing team players in the years to come.