Ravi Shastri was once again appointed as the head coach of the Indian cricket team and his tenure will last until the end of the 2021 World T20 which will be held in India. Shastri's comeback comes as no surprise after India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev, who led the Cricket Advisory Committee appointed to select the new head coach of the team, had backed Shastri to lead the team despite a crushing 18-run loss in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup which dumped them out of the tournament.
Speaking ahead of the warm-up game between India and West Indies A in Coolidge Antigua to the official website of the BCCI, Shastri focused on youth power as he aims to leave a lasting impression on the Indian cricket team.
"Next two years is to see that smooth transition happens because you will get a lot of youngsters coming, especially into the white ball setup. There will be youngsters coming into the Test match setup as well. ou will need to identify another three-four bowlers to add to the pool, those are the challenges. So that the team, at the end of our tenure, in 26 months, my endeavour would be to leave the team in a happier place. So that they can leave a legacy for the time to come," Shastri said.
Shastri's tenure will be till November 2021 and in this period, there will be two major ICC tournaments with the World T20 in 2020 in Australia and the World T20 in 2021 in India. As per BCCI's constitution, the national team's head coach has to be below 60 years, the age Shastri will be approaching by the time his current tenure ends. The 2023 World Cup is still a long way and winning the World T20 is the realistic goal for the team.
"I had the belief that this team could leave a legacy very few teams have left behind in years to come, not just for the moment they are playing but at the end of it all... the kind of legacy other teams going down decades will want to try and emulate. That is the desire, we are on track. There is always room for improvement. And with youth coming in through the ranks, I think it's very exciting time. When you strive for excellence and you strive to raise the bar day in, day out, then you got to pay attention to that detail. When you do mess up, you have an off day, don't let that day go by, in fact, make sure that you are focussing and concentrating on how you can get over that barrier," Shastri said.
There has been plenty of disappointment among several Indian cricket fans about Shastri coming back as the coach of the team. Under Shastri, India has crashed out of the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup, 2016 World T20 and the 2019 World Cup but Shastri's record was unmatched as the team reached the No.1 ranking in Test matches under his guidance and won a series in Australia for the first time in 71 years, besides decent success in the limited overs format.
"It's been superbly consistent if you look at the performance over the last two-three years. But like I said that is the bar they have set and now it's up to them to raise the bar. There is no other way, they have to. Unless you make those efforts, even at the cost of certain results, you will not know what your best setup is. There is a time when you got to invest in getting youth into the side in ensuring that you have better combinations, you are better kept all-round," Shastri spoke about the team performance.