I might be there longer than expected, says Shastri
Asserting that the Indian cricket team does not require “more coaches” than what it already has right now, Director Ravi Shastri on Sunday said he might just be there “longer” than expected. Shastri was retained as Director of the team for the tour of Bangladesh, which starts with a one-off Test on June 10 and also features three ODIs after it. Addressing a pre-departure press conference here, Shastri said the team is not exactly hard-pressed for a chief coach right now. “We have got three coaches, we don’t need another coach.
I will double up as head coach if need be, so there is no issue whatsoever,” said Shastri when asked whether the side would miss having a national coach after Duncan Fletcher’s tenure came to an end earlier this year. “Speculation, perception, that is your problem, not my problem. As far as <g data-gr-id="33">coach</g> is conWcerned, we don’t need one,” he insisted. Quizzed further on how long he will continue with the team, Shastri said, “When we come back from Bangladesh, I will sit with them (the BCCI) and decide. I don’t rule out anything. I might be there much longer than what you think.”
Asked whether the team is confident of a good show against the lower-ranked Bangladesh, Shastri said, “We respect every opponent and Bangladesh is another opponent.” A talking point ahead of the tour has been the Test comeback of veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and asked whether he would be leading the Indian attack, Shastri said it would be a combined effort.
“We welcome Harbhajan back in the side, he is a good operator and will bring plenty to the plate. (But) it’s going to be an India bowling outfit, not anyone in particular leading the pack,” he said. On to other developments in Indian cricket, Shastri welcomed the appointment of batting great Rahul Dravid as the new India A and Under-19 coach. “I have already had a chat with Dravid. There is no better news for Indian cricket ... There cannot be a better man for that job. He will be with the youngsters and that will help the senior team,” he said.a career that spanned nine years of my life during which I have made so many friends,” Kieswetter added.
‘WILL improve TEAM fitness’
Virat Kohli on Sunday said though his team was good on the skills front, it needed to improve <g data-gr-id="64">on </g>the fitness. “The team is in good shape. On the skills <g data-gr-id="70">front</g> we have been really good for a while and looking for consistency. Fitness is an area that we need to strengthen more and more going ahead so that we have <g data-gr-id="66">less</g> injuries and we play the same set of players to build a match-winning combination,” he said. “Fitness is the primary focus of any game. If we strengthen that over a period of 6 to 8 months from now that will help us in the coming three-four years.”