Shas­tri to coach In­dia till 2019

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

FOR­MER all-rounder Ravi Shas­tri has been handed the job of In­dia’s head coach un­til the 2019 World Cup, a year af­ter the 55-year-old was left dis­ap­pointed at be­ing pipped to the post by Anil Kum­ble.

Shas­tri will re­place for­mer cap­tain Kum­ble, who stepped down as coach last month af­ter fall­ing out with cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli de­spite en­joy­ing a suc­cess­ful run dur­ing his year in charge.

The BCCI also named for­mer In­dia seamer Za­heer Khan as the team’s bowl­ing con­sul­tant, while for­mer bat­ting great Rahul Dravid was ap­pointed as bat­ting con­sul­tant for over­seas Test se­ries.

Shas­tri, also a renowned TV com­men­ta­tor, was ap­pointed In­dia’s team di­rec­tor in Au­gust 2014 with Duncan Fletcher as head coach.

Fletcher’s term came to an end fol­low­ing In­dia’s semi-fi­nal de­feat at the 2015 World Cup.

Last year the BCCI formed the Cricket Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (CAC), com­pris­ing of for­mer play­ers Sachin Ten­dulkar, Sourav Gan­guly and VVS Lax­man, who chose Kum­ble for the head coach po­si­tion ahead of Shas­tri, who had also ap­plied.

“Shas­tri has been the team di­rec­tor in the past, and brings with him a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence, both as (a) player and as coach,” the BCCI said on Tues­day. “Khan is a con­tem­po­rary crick­eter who as­sumed the men­tor­ing role to a young fast bowl­ing unit even dur­ing his play­ing days with In­dia. His in­puts will be of im­mense value to our young fast bowlers, who have shown tremen­dous po­ten­tial in the last cou­ple of years.

“As the In­dian team is to play Test cricket over­seas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid’s ex­per­tise as bat­ting con­sul­tant will be im­mensely help­ful for young­sters.”

Kum­ble’s orig­i­nal con­tract ex­pired with In­dia’s ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy cam­paign, but the for­mer leg-spin­ner had been tipped to get an ex­ten­sion af­ter lead­ing the coun­try to 12 vic­to­ries in 17 Tests with one loss.

The BCCI in­vited ap­pli­ca­tions for the role last month and Kum­ble, In­dia’s most suc­cess­ful bowler, re-ap­plied. He later stepped down say­ing his part­ner­ship with Kohli was “un­ten­able”.

Shas­tri had not ini­tially ap­plied for the po­si­tion, but put in his name once Kum­ble was out of the equa­tion.

He was among five can­di­dates in­ter­viewed by the CAC on Mon­day to fill the va­cant po­si­tion.

The first chal­lenge for the new coach­ing set-up will be­gin later this month when In­dia tour Sri Lanka to play three Tests, five one-day­ers and one T20I. – Reuters GREEN WITH ENVY: Quick-Step Floors rider Mar­cel Kit­tel of Ger­many cel­e­brates win­ning the 11th stage of the Tour de France yes­ter­day from Eymet to Pau. PAU, France: Ger­man Mar­cel Kit­tel was once again a cut above the rest as he claimed his fifth vic­tory in this year’s Tour de France, em­phat­i­cally win­ning the 11th stage.

The Quick-Step Floors rider, who now has 14 stages to his name, left it late to launch his sprint but eas­ily beat Dutch­man Dy­lan Groe­newe­gen (Lot­toNL-Jumbo) and Nor­way’s Ed­vald Boas­son Ha­gen (Di­men­sion Data).

Boas­son Ha­gen raised his arms as if he had won but was comprehensively beaten by Kit­tel and Groe­newe­gen af­ter 203.5km from Eymet.

Bri­tain’s Chris Froome re­tained the over­all leader’s yel­low jer­sey on a re­laxed day for Team Sky’s de­fend­ing cham­pion.

Some of his ri­vals did not have a quiet day, though.

Three of the main con­tenders crashed as last year’s run­ner-up Ro­main Bardet, third over­all, Jakob Fuglsang (fifth) and twice win­ner Al­berto Con­ta­dor (12th) hit the deck in sep­a­rate in­ci­dents.

Fuglsang was in­volved in a crash at the feed zone and went to the med­i­cal car to have his wrist checked, while his As­tana team­mate Dario Cataldo was forced to aban­don the race be­cause of a wrist in­jury af­ter the Ital­ian also fell.

“He was a key rider. He would have had an im­por­tant role in the moun­tains,” said As­tana sports di­rec­tor Dmitry Fo­fonov.

“We have to de­cide if he un­der­goes an op­er­a­tion in France or in Italy. As for Fuglsang, he al­ready broke the wrist that’s in­jured to­day. It hurts, he said.”

French­man Bardet avoided se­ri­ous in­jury.

“I es­caped un­hurt but now I’m happy that the flat stages are over,” said Bardet, who is ex­pected to at­tack in to­day’s 12th stage, a 214.5-km trek fea­tur­ing three ma­jor climbs and a sum­mit fin­ish in Peyragudes.

Con­ta­dor, who slipped down the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion af­ter a bad day in the Jura moun­tains on Sun­day, fell off his bike 25km from the fin­ish but man­aged to make it back to the pelo­ton with the help of his Trek-Se­gafredo team­mate Jar­lin­son Pan­tano.

At that point, the main pack was trav­el­ling at full speed as the sprint­ers’ teams rode hard at the front to catch the last fugi­tive of the day, Ma­ciej Bod­nar of Poland.

The ex­hausted Bo­raHans­grohe rider was reined in 250m from the line be­fore Kit­tel stole the show yet again. – Reuters

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