The West Indies tour will be a litmus test for skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri after Indias exit in the semi-final stage of the 2019 World Cup. While it was a case of a one-off bad day, but the fact that the head coachs contract is up for renewal means that the performance of the team in West Indies will play a role in deciding if Shastri is handed an extension.
While the team has done well under Shastri, winning series in Australia, it has also competed well on overseas tour in South Africa and England. But with fresh application set to come in, the credentials of the candidates applying will also be considered by the ad-hoc Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that is being formed by the Committee of Administrators.
Speaking to IANS, a senior board official had said that while applications have been invited for the head coach and support staff, they must all be made to submit reports to explain what went wrong in India’s campaign in the showpiece event in England.
“A report must be sought from not only the manager but also each of the specific coaches. The physio and trainer should also be asked to submit their reports. It would be necessary to set the rumours around the curious case of Vijay Shankar’s injury and its handling by the management to rest.
“The batting coach (Sanjay Bangar) must have answers for the number 4 question since it is obvious that it was the team management that was asking for certain players to be included. He must also answer if he was not informed about the injury to Shankar,” the official said.
It has also been said that while skipper Kohli played a pivotal role in Shastri being appointed coach last time round, the captain will have no say when it comes to picking the head coach this time round.
But it will be interesting to see if the ad-hoc CAC does indeed ignore the suggestions of the captain because at the end of the day, the coach has to work closely with the captain to ensure that the team achieves successful results.
Similarly, it will be a test for Kohli as well after certain sections have spoken about the possibility of handing deputy Rohit Sharma the mantle of captaincy in the shorter formats. A comprehensive result in the West Indies will go a long way in silencing the critics as far as skipper Kohli is concerned.