Shastri Can Replace Kumble!

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Anas Baqai, Sports Editor, 6D
New Delhi, The resignation of Head Coach Anil Kumble has triggered frantic activities, lobbying and manipulations in BCCI. The Job of Head Coach of Senior Indian Cricket team is considered to be the most prized passion Indian Cricket Team. Insiders are claiming that Ravi Shastri might be approached for the Job.

Senior players in the Indian cricket team, led by captain Virat Kohli, were not happy with head coach Anil Kumble’s methods of guiding the side, players were happier with former team director Ravi Shastri’s methods.

Our BCCI Sources say that there are five names that are being considered to take over job of the head coach. Names include Virender Sehwag, Lal Chand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, Tom Moody and Richard Pybus. The insiders are predicting something else. They are claiming that though Ravi Shashtri’s name is not in the list but there is a possibility that he might be approached by the BCCI management to take over as head coach because of his closeness with the Indian Captain Virat Kohli.

Virender Sehwag, Lal Chand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, Tom Moody and Richard Pybus are being considered as the Head Coach of Indian Team.

Ravi Shastri had been working closely with the Indian team as Team Director, mentor and guide for many years now. It is also believed that Ravi Shastri was the whistle blower in Kumble’s case. Sources claim that He was the one who influenced Virat Kohli against Anil Kumble as Kumble was closer to former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and allegedly, Dhoni was influencing Kumble’s decision.

If sources are to be believed, axe may fall on few players also including Ravindra Jadeja after west Indies tour. West Indies tours is round the corner and after the humiliating defeat, BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhari doesn’t want to take chances. In his press advisory released yesterday, Mr. Chaudhari clearly expressed his stand that BCCI is not going to waste its energy in trying to convince Kumble to take back his papers. this is also an indication that Kumble was forced to resign.

It is also believed that Ravi Shastri was the whistle blower in Kumble’s case.

It is believed that differences started showing during India-Australia Test series when Kumble included left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in he test team without consulting captain Virat Kohli. Senior players in the Indian cricket team, led by captain Virat Kohli, were not happy with head coach Anil Kumble’s methods of guiding the side, players were happier with former team director Ravi Shastri’s methods, with Kumble being referred to as “a hard task-master”. “People in the corridors of power had been told that Kumble is overbearing and doesn’t give freedom to the players.” Shastri, on the other hand, shared an excellent rapport with the players during his year-long tenure as team director.

All the proposed names for the coach have very strong cricketing background:-

Virender Sehwag
The firebrand batsman Virender Sehwag was born 20 October 1978) is a former Indian cricketer, and a former captain of India. Often considered as one of the most destructive batsman of the game, Sehwag is an aggressive right-handed opening batsman and a part-time right-arm off-spin bowler. If there is one batsman in the Indian team who looks capable of taking on the mantle of Sachin Tendulkar’s successor, it is Virender Sehwag. It is not just the fact that two have an uncanny resemblance when dressed in Indian colours. Sehwag bats with the freedom that Tendulkar batted with in his youth. He has the same ability to make the situation, the bowler and the pitch look irrelevant. In fact, in what Sehwag himself considers to be his greatest compliment, Tendulkar has said that of the younger crop of players, it is Sehwag who most resembles his style of play.

Sehwag’s approach to batting is based on a simple philosophy: if the ball is there to be hit, he will hit it. Of course, his idea of a ball that can be hit differs considerably from most other batsmen! Due to his style of play, Sehwag was initially typecast as a limited-overs specialist, and had to wait two years after making his ODI debut to play a Test match, but in an ironic twist of fate, it is his Test record that is far more imposing, while he has not done justice to his enormous talent in One Day Internationals.

Lal Chand Rajput
A seasoned Coach, Lal Chand Rajput was born 18 December 1961) is a former Indian cricketer who is the current head coach of the Afghan national team. Rajput played in two Tests and four ODIs from 1985 to 1987. Rajput had a distinguished career as an opening batsman for Bombay, and at one time was considered one of the best openers in India after Sunil Gavaskar.

When Sunil Gavaskar indicated that he would like to bat lower down the order in the mid 1980s, the search was on for suitable opening batsmen. And on the basis of some sterling performances on the domestic circuit, Lalchand Rajput was the choice for the tour of Sri Lanka in 1985. Solid rather than spectacular, Rajput batted well on his Test debut scoring 32 and 61, adding 76 runs for the third wicket with Dilip Vengsarkar in the second innings. But after scores of 0 and 12 in the next Test he was replaced by Ravi Shastri and lost his place for good. After his playing days, he served as the joint honorary secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association and also took up coaching, which included successful stints with the Under-19 team. He was appointed cricket manager before India’s successful campaign at the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa and held the position till the tour of Australia in 2007-08. He then took over as the coach of the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural IPL. However, he hit the headlines for the wrong reasons early in the tournament when he was fined 50% of his match fee for not restraining the captain Harbhajan Singh during his infamous altercation with Sreesanth.

Dodda Ganesh
Dodda Ganesh was one of the mainstays of Karnataka’s glittering bowling line-up in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, he was rushed into playing Test cricket and that didn’t help his cause. He could only play four Tests for the country. Initially, with Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad in the ranks, he didn’t exactly find a regular place in Karnataka’s line-up. However, as the years went by, he served the state with distinction and diligence.

Interestingly, Ganesh started his career as a a wicket-keeper. However, his potential as a pacer was soon recognised by Gundappa Vishwanath and he came through the ranks quickly. Ganesh made his First-Class debut in the Ranji Trophy against Tamil Nadu in 1994-95. However, it was in the Irani Cup in 1996 that he shone brightly by taking 11 wickets for Karnataka against Rest of India.

The selectors were excited by a young pacer, who could hit the deck hard and duly selected him for the tour of South Africa in 1996-97. Unfortunately, he perhaps got the chance to play for his country too early. When up against a strong South African line-up, Ganesh struggled to make an impact and could only take one wicket in the two Tests he played.

In West Indies, Ganesh bowled better and picked up crucial wickets in Barbados. India though, suffered a gut-wrenching loss in that Test. He played one more Test at Georgetown, Guyana. But after that game, he soon became a forgotten man of Indian cricket. Ganesh though, didn’t lose hope as he put up consistent performances in the domestic circuit.

In 1998-99, Ganesh picked up 74 wickets in the domestic circuit and played a pivotal role in helping Karnataka to lift the Ranji Trophy for the third time in the 1990s. Even those sterling spells on barren decks weren’t good enough for him to return to the Indian side. Most believe that he should have been selected for the tour of Australia in 1999-00, but it wasn’t to be.

Ganesh was a fine performer in domestic cricket until the mid 2000s. He finally hung up his spiked boots in 2007. Ganesh ended up with 365 wickets in First-Class cricket and that included as many as 20 five-wicket hauls. As the years went by, his batting too improved. After retirement he joined politics. But returned to the cricket fold by becoming the coach of Goa in 2012-13.

Tom Moody
Tom Moody was both tall and a player of stature. He measures in at 6ft 6ins, but overcame an early awkwardness against short bowling to become a batsman who at his best hit through the covers and down the ground with alarming power. He was also a capable medium-pace swing bowler, a safe slip fieldsman and a natural leader. His short Test career did not take off after he was sacrified as an opener in Sri Lanka in 1992-93, though he made a memorable comeback to the one-day team in time to play in, and contribute measurably to, Australia’s 1999 World Cup win. He and Steve Waugh became the first two Australians to win two World Cups. Moody’s greatest service was to Western Australia and Worcestershire, leading both to all manner of domestic silverware. Dogged by back injury, he retired in 2000-01 and became president of the Australian Cricketers’ Association and coach, then director of cricket, at Worcestershire. He also made regular appearances as an analyst on TV. In 2005 he was linked with the Indian coaching job, but in May he was appointed as Sri Lanka’s coach. He quickly made an impression and guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in April 2007. The following month he quit and announced he was returning home to coach Western Australia.

Richard Pybus
Born and raised in the north-east of England, Richard Pybus’s own sporting ambitions were cut short by a succession of injuries, and so he took up coaching while in his mid twenties. He coached Border in South Africa before being poached by Pakistan ahead of their 1999 World Cup campaign. But a change of leadership meant he lost his job – he had described the interim chairman, at the time the side’s manager, as a “bumbling old idiot” who he had had to treat for old age. He returned to Border but took charge of Pakistan for a second time until after the 2003 World Cup and from 2005 to the end of the 2006-07 season he was with the Titans. He was appointed coach of Middlesex in February 2007 but five months later quit citing personal reasons.
Pybus rejoined the Titans shortly after leaving Middlesex, before stepping down as coach in July 2009. During his tenure, he had overseen his team’s success in the MTN Domestic Championship over two seasons and was named the CSA (Cricket South Africa) Coach of the Year. He went on to have a successful two-year spell at Cape Cobras, winning three titles, before resigning in March 2012 due to differences with the franchise management. In May 2012, Pybus was named coach of Bangladesh, taking over from Stuart Law, but that was a short stint, as he resigned in October that year following disagreement over the terms of his contract. His next major assignment came a year later, when he was appointed West Indies’ director of cricket for a three-year period starting November 1, 2013.

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