Ravi Shastri was on Tuesday appointed coach of the Indian cricket team for the first time. He had earlier served in the capacity of team director. The decision was taken late on Tuesday night after the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman had a conference call with captain Virat Kohli, who is currently on a holiday in the US. Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan has been appointed bowling coach while Sanjay Bangar remains the batting coach. In an interesting development, Rahul Dravid has been asked to work with the Indian team as a batting consultant but this will not be on a permanent basis. Dravid will join the team as and when required, mostly on overseas tours.
NDTV has learnt that when asked, the Indian skipper's choice was Shastri. Shastri also had the approval of cricketing legend and CAC member Tendulkar.
Shastri, in his interview to the CAC on Monday, had said the team's form had dipped in the last 12 months and his aim was to bring them back on track.
"The BCCI announces the appointment of Mr. Ravi Shastri as the Head Coach, Mr. Zaheer Khan as the Bowling Consultant and Mr. Rahul Dravid who will be the Overseas Batting Consultant (Test cricket) for the Indian Cricket Team," BCCI's acting secterary Amitabh Choudhary said in a media statement.
"As part of the process for selecting the Head Coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Sourav Ganguly and Mr. VVS Laxman conducted the interviews and recommended these appointments in the best interest of the Indian Cricket. The term of the appointments will be till the World Cup 2019."
"As the Indian team is to play Test cricket overseas in the next two years, Rahul Dravid's expertise as batting consultant will be immensely helpful for youngsters," Choudhary added.
Reports of Shastri being appointed new India coach had first emerged on Tuesday evening. However, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhury held a press conference about an hour later saying that the decision on Indian coach had not been finalised and the CAC was still deliberating on it.
It will be third stint with the national team for 55-year-old Shastri, who was earlier a Cricket Manager during 2007 tour of Bangladesh and then Team Director from August 2014 August to June 2016.
Shastri was carded to be the front-runner once he applied for the post on July 3. His name was approved by the CAC. Sources had said that Shastri had applied for the post after being convinced to do so by Tendulkar.
The coach-captain drama, which can be traced back all the way to Australia Test series, took an ugly turn in early June when, after India's loss to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final, Kumble did not travel to the West Indies with the rest of the team and then tendered his resignation while the squad was mid-air.
He tweeted his resignation, stating that the relationship between him and skipper Virat Kohli was 'untenable'.
The coaching drama, which reportedly had been brewing since the third Test against Australia in Dharamsala in March 2017, when Kumble had replaced the injured Kohli with left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Kohli is understood to be unaware of the decision and that was where the rift began.
While Kohli had stated during the Champions Trophy that there was no rift between him and Kumble, the latter's resignation and the subsequent observations about maintaining the sanctity of the dressing room, made by Kohli in the West Indies, made it clear that there was no love lost between the two.
With Shastri as team director, India reached the semi-finals of 2015 ICC World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. They reached the last four at the back of seven wins on the trot. India recorded a 3-0 win over Australia in the T20 series Down Under and against South Africa at home, India managed to win the Test series 3-0.
He made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1981 and opened his account in the shorter format of the game against England in the same year.
Shastri scored 3,830 runs in 80 Test matches for India at an average of 35.79. To add to that, he has 151 Test wickets to his name, making him one of the most successful all-rounders to play for India.