Shastri to coach India till 2019
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