Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ravi Shastri Anointed rather than Appointed Coach ?

Score: Virat Kohli:1 ; India:0

I was never fond of cricket. Somehow I always felt the outcomes were rigged so watching it was a waste of time - like watching a glorified WWE.Then came IPL which was marred in so many controversies, our Supreme Court had to step in. But the way Indian team captain Virat Kohli (cheeku) played, I couldn't help but get hooked enough to write about the whispering voices in my head, screaming so loudly this time that I was compelled to ignore everything else but Indian Cricket.

I am not talking about Virat's performance on the field but his off field performance. Both are impeccable and outstanding. Off field Virat has the perfect person which appeals to India's youth. The perfectly trimmed hair and beard, profiles on social media making the right posts and press conferences with such calibrated responses that would put a politician to shame.

Virat is not about the earlier legends like Tendulkar or Dravid, whose public image portrayed them a simpleton talented geniuses but more a mix of Yuvraj and Ganguly - steriod pumped bodybuilder meets brash and stylish nationalist.

In these times of "have it - will flaunt it" he is the picture perfect incarnation of every media guru advertisers dream model - a super successful icon, with the perfect grooming, the perfect social media account, the perfect girlfriend and who can basically sell anything under the sun to the millions of Indians. India is now full of wannabe Virats aping every single hair strand of his famous trim, in the desperate hope that such styling will bring them to his level. 

While there is nothing new in super athletes maintaining a picture perfect image, it was the beautiful manner in which Kohli appeared to have clean bowled former Indian Coach Anil Kumble which was noteworthy. 

Kumble's performance as Indian Coach was impeccable. A cricketing legend himself, he was known to be a hard taskmaster. During his almost 1 year tenure as coach, Team India did reasonably well winning Test series against West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. It also won the ODI series against New Zealand and England.

But Virat appeared to always vouch for Ravi Shastri. The kind of coach who lets him do what he wanted. There were reports of conflict between Kumble and Virat in March and May 2017 but it was played down. Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri (a.k.a. Ravi Shastri a.k.a. Shaz) had always wanted to be coach and was feeling snubbed when Kumble got the job in June 2016. He even blamed  Sourav Ganguly (Member of Cricket Advisory Committee) for losing out on the position.

Such was Virat's off pitch and on pitch persona, that when he and his team literally threw the ICC Champions Trophy Final match to Pakistan, a relatively weaker team, he was able to deliver a subtle but clear message to both cricketing legends Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble that it's either "My way or the highway".As long as Kumble was coach, Team India would lose.

No one in the entire BCCI had the balls to stand up to this reality. It was clear that Indian's loved winning. Virat controlled his team. If Virat is upset, India would lose = less money to be made = all management and coaches would be questioned.

Any professionally run organization would have given the team a good dressing down, even removed some players from the team for having lost a very important finals match. 

But like most sports bodies in India, a showcase "selection process" was conducted in order to appoint Ravi Shastri as coach. Ardent followers of the game could not ignore the irony that with along with Shastri, a specialized coach for batting (Rahul Dravid) and bowling (Zaheer Khan) were also to be appointed, thereby limiting Shastri's role to being that of Virat's favorite doll. One wonders, had Virat pointed the finger to a monkey, would we have a simian as India's Coach?

In fact Virat has effectively managed to show India the inertness of the BCCI. He is telling people that he runs the show. He is Captain, Team Coach and Team Selector without the official titles and the board should be happy to play the role of spectator. That the so called board is nothing more than a bunch of retired cricketers and appointed administrators hanging onto post retirement benefits by a thread. 


A strange game is being played off the cricket pitch in air conditioned offices. Anil Kumble chose the graceful path of putting in his papers after Team India literally threw away a crucial finals match to Pakistan. It was the way expected of a principled India Coach. The same unfortunately cant be said of Virat Kohli and the board of selectors. Organizations run by whims and fancies instead of Standard Operating Procedures seldom enjoy sustainability. Kohli must remember that time will catch up with him too, when he too would be required to wait outside the locked doors of selectors offices with his Ipad and powerpoint presentations to impress a 29 year old captain in order to win a coveted "advisory" role . But then, who knows, maybe Shastri will be BCCI President then ? Maybe that will be the time for my next blog on this subject.

Comparative Statistics of Cricket Players who Applied for the position of Coach if Indian Cricket Team 2017 - Source: Wikipedia
Update : Ravi Shastri wants his own choice Bharat Arun as bowling coach and Zaheer Khan as consultant.


  1. Pradeep Sehgal13 July 2017 at 03:25

    Virat Kohli is already planning post retirement career moves. His first aim is to get rid of Dada so he is using Shaz to antagonize him #IndianCricket

  2. Daljeet Singh Uberoi13 July 2017 at 03:42

    Bribery, favoritism, nepotism are hallmarks of India's institutions.#SasiBribeGate

  3. Wonderfully prepared chart. Moody was better choice for coach.

  4. Whole BCCI should be again audited in detail by Vinod Rai and report made public.Shastri is another Srinivasan in the making. It is the fault of Indian public for turning these players into Gods

  5. Kohli is meticulously planning his post retirement insurance policy seeking to plant his men in the BCCI. Cricketer ki bajaye politician banna chahiye tha sir ji ko

  6. As long as Kohli keeps winning he will rule. He knows it too. Stupid fans forgive murder also if Kohli wins. It means other country has to lose by hook or by crook. More by crook

  7. #OperationCricketGate You are right rottenmangoman. The whole system is rotten. W.r.t the recent sting done by 2 journalists on Pune Curator Pandurang Salgaonkar I want to question why Media went and spoiled the pitch. Curator should be punished but what action BCCI will be taken journalist who is on video kicking and damaging the pitch ?

  8. #OperationCricketGate LOL the match India Vs Newzealand will still go on as per ICC Match referee . This is despite so called video evidence that it was tampered. 2 people posing as bookies managed to go onto the pitch. A rotten blotch ahead of the Supreme Court hearing. Shame. Shame on Indians for watching and believing in glorified version of India's WWE.New Zealand should just refuse to play. ��

  9. #OperationCricketGate It will be interesting to see the outcome of the match between India and Newzealand which was fixed by curator Salgaonkar. RottenMangoMan i find it really surprising how rotten the game of cricket has gotten in India. Is this how Indian Teams win matches? New Zealand coach should object and refuse to play.

  10. A furious India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday lost his cool and hit back at the reporters during a post-match conference after a 135-run defeat against South Africa in the second Test at Centurion, his first reverse as full-time skipper