IMAGE: Kohli had said that he would be very happy if incumbent Ravi Shastri continues following the West Indies tour. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
The legendary Kapil Dev, head of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that will appoint the next head coach agreed with his colleague Shantha Rangaswamy that skipper Virat Kohli’s opinion ‘needs to be respected’.
The World Cup winning former skipper however assured that his panel will do their job to the best of their ability.
Kohli during his pre-departure press conference didn’t hide that he would love to see current head coach Ravi Shastri get another term.
“That’s his (Kohli) opinion we have to respect everybody’s opinion,” Kapil told reporters before receiving the ‘Bharat Gaurav’, East Bengal’s highest honour during their foundation day celebrations at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Before leaving for the West Indies tour, the Indian skipper has already made it clear that they share a great camaraderie with incumbent coach Ravi Shastri as he backed him to continue till the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup.
This time the CAC comprising Kapil, Anushuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will select the head coach with application deadline already ending on Tuesday. The incumbent Shastri gets an automatic entry in the selection process.
Before the CAC meets to interview the applicants there are also reports that Shastri is set for an extension as all eyes would be on the Kapil Dev-led committee.
“It’s not tough. You just do your job to the best of your ability,” he said.
Despite a boycott campaign by a section of fans in the social media, India’s first World Cup winning captain kept his promise and received the honour from the club where he played an exhibition derby against Mohun Bagan.
Kapil received the honour as East Bengal kick-started their centenary year celebrations with an array of programmes.
“Tradition is everything. If tradition was not there we would not have been recognised as a Bengali, Punjabi, South Indian, Tamilian… So we have a tradition that’s why we are here,” Kapil said, flanked by present and former India football skippers Sunil Chhetri and Bhaichung Bhutia.
“We respect Wimbledon because they have a tradition way of playing on grass. Don’t lose your tradition whichever side you come from. I am more fascinated with the fans than the team as they have been supporting the club for 100 years.”
Kapil conceded that he was a diehard Diego Maradona fan and the greatest moment was none other than the hand of God.
“When the ball was on his feet, he was the quickest among all the athletes. He could run faster than anybody else. That’s what I used to look up to him,” he concluded.
Kohli entitled to his opinion but only CAC will decide the next India coach: Shantha Rangaswamy
As captain Virat Kohli is entitled to his opinion but Shantha Rangaswamy said the next India head coach will be picked based only on the collective opinion of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of which she is a part.
The other CAC members are Kapil Dev and Anshuman Gaekwad. The same panel had also picked the Indian women’s coach in December.
Ahead of the team’s departure to the Unites States, Kohli had said that he would be very happy if incumbent Ravi Shastri continues following the West Indies tour.
“Virat is the captain and he is entitled to his opinion but it will be the collective opinion of the three of us (CAC) which will determine who the the next head coach is,” former India women’s captain Rangaswamy said.
“I read some media reports and I endorse Anshuman’s view on the matter. We need to look at all aspects — his experience, the ability to bring the team together and how a good a strategist one is,” she said.
Gaekwad told that the CAC is neutral and goes into the process with an open mind.
“The totality of that will be considered and individuals don’t matter, it is the collective opinion which will weigh in determining who the head coach is,” she added.
With Kohli’s public backing, Shastri has emerged as the favourite for the job. The others who are in the race are Australian Tom Moody and former India internationals Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh.
The application deadline ended on Tuesday and the CAC is expected to conduct interviews of the shortlisted candidates mid August.
While Kohli expressing his preference when the selection process is on has been questioned by some, a few others including Sourav Ganguly feel that the Indian captain has every right to voice his opinion.
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