Shastri does not want to be a ‘tutor’ to players
Ravi Shastri, who is the new head coach of India cricket team, plans to adopt a more hands-off approach than his predecessor Anil Kumble.
Shastri had previously served in the role of team director and is thought to have a good relationship with skipper Virat Kohli. The newly appointed India coach has no issues giving people more freedom off the field.
Shastri told the Times of India: "At the highest level, cricketers are more or less settled.
"So it is more to do with working on their mental strength, helping build their confidence, helping them stay organised in their daily activities as against tinkering with their style of play.
"It's not about 'tutoring' them about everything and telling them what and what not to do. There's very little coaching at the highest level. It's about fine-tuning and mentoring, about effective communication."
Meanwhile, the decision to appoint two high-profile stars to assist new coach Ravi Shastri has some experts wondering how much autonomy the former all-rounder will wield at the helm.
Shastri's appointment was widely expected but the board's decision to name ex-players Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as bowling and batting consultants raised eyebrows.
Traditionally, the Board of Control for Cricket in India allows the head coach to pick support staff and the break with convention did not go unnoticed.
"The coach has now got appendages. The BCCI has added more arsenal to the support staff," prominent cricket commentator and columnist Ayaz Memon told AFP.
"The problem could be of too many people."
Shastri, 55, edged out a host of high-profile contenders for the top job, including Virender Sehwag, Australia's Tom Moody, Englishman Richard Pybus and former India manager Lalchand Rajput.
Speculation had been rife that Shastri, who served as India's team director between 2014 and 2016, would get the nod, especially given his friendly ties with Kohli.
"If Dravid batting consultant and Zaheer bowling coach, is Shastri more "team director" again?" wrote leading Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle on Twitter.
Cricketer-turned commentator Aakash Chopra suggested Shastri's new role differed little from his old one, saying: "only the designation changes!"
Former India cricketer Madan Lal had previously opined that it was incorrect for officials to impulsively hand over the coaching job to Ravi Shastri.
“The way a few top officials in BCCI is backing Shastri to become the coach, one would wonder why they invited applications for the post?,” Lal told Xtratime.
Shastri's first assignment starts later this month when India tours Sri Lanka for three Tests starting July 26.
The duration of his post, and that of Khan and Dravid, is two years until the World Cup in 2019.