India in England 2014 August 19, 2014

Shastri named director of cricket for England ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Agarkar: Bizarre timing for support staff changes

India's cricket bosses have reacted to the embarrassing Test series defeat to England by ringing in changes among the coaching staff, including appointing former captain Ravi Shastri as the director of cricket for the one-day series coming up. Duncan Fletcher remains the head coach but Shastri has been given the reins of the team.

Team captain MS Dhoni is safe, with officials saying he had the full backing of the board for the entire series.

Further clipping Fletcher's wings, his two assistants, fielding coach Trevor Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes, have been "given a break" for the one-day series in England. In their place come former India allrounder Sanjay Bangar and former India fast bowler B Arun as assistant coaches. R Sridhar, the former Hyderabad left-arm spinner, will join the support team as the fielding coach for the one day series.

While the BCCI's official press release soft-pedalled the news, saying Shastri would "oversee and guide the Indian cricket team", board secretary Sanjay Patel was more emphatic while talking to ESPNcricinfo. "The team is with Ravi Shastri," he said. "Now it is his baby. He will handle everything."

This is not the first time the BCCI is turning to Shastri during a crisis - he was named the Indian team's cricket manager after an embarrassing first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup.

A BCCI release said: "In their continuing efforts to re-energise the support to the team, the BCCI has given a break to the bowling coach Mr Joe Dawes and the fielding coach, Mr Trevor Penny for the one day series and appointed Mr Sanjay Bangar, former Indian all rounder and former India fast bowler Mr Bharat Arun as the Asst. coaches of the team. Mr R.Sridhar will join the support team as the fielding coach for the one day series."

Dawes, a former Queensland fast bowler, has been India's bowling coach since the 2011-12 Test debacle in Australia, while Penney has been in charge of the fielding after India's victorious 2011 World Cup.

Bangar retired from first-class cricket in 2013 and has since coached India A, and been part of the support staff of various IPL franchises, with his reputation getting it biggest boost after he coached an unfancied Kings XI Punjab to their first IPL final earlier this year.

Sridhar, who began his coaching career in 2001, has been part of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and was the India Under-19's assistant coach during the World Cup in February in the UAE. He has also worked with Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2014 as the franchise's fielding coach.

Arun, a former Tamil Nadu fast bowler, has overseen India's two previous Under-19s campaigns, including Unmukt Chand's title-winning side in 2012. He was also among the senior coaching staff at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore till he resigned last year.

The developments come a day after BCCI joint-secretary Anurag Thakur had suggested that a former India player should work with Fletcher to guide the team. He had also told PTI: "I would ideally like an Indian support staff to work in tandem with Fletcher, which might help him to prepare better for the future tour."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anand on August 26, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    If India lose the 1 day series then both Dhoni and Fletcher should be ready to resign.

  • Ashok on August 20, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    I expect a much better performance from the Indian team both in batting & bowling. India has a good reputation in the ODI Cricket having won the WC in ODI earlier in England. Also there will be some changes in the XI in both batting & bowling. India may go some of the younger guys in the squad + Raina & Yadev in the XI. Shastri will have impact on the Team both for mental support & introducing much needed discipline. The area Shastri needs his major focus is in selection of a rational XI. He must not allow Dhoni to be the dictator but a follower for Selection of XI! This is where India keeps failing. New Indian coaches will be at least as good if not better than the "rested" coaches of Fletcher. I feel Fletcher will be a Head Coach in Name only. The bulk of control will be under Shastri. So I expect a new "Ball game" orchestrated by Shastri with No Nonsense disciplined approach! Indian Series Win likely!

  • Aniket on August 20, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    A lot of the people seem to think that preparing green tops at home for the domestic matches is a cure for our woes in overseas test matches. Nothing of the sort will happen. You only have to look at recent Ranji pitches to know what I'm talking about. More and more state teams have actually been preparing green tops for Ranji matches. It hasn't worked out well for India at all.

    Firstly it has reduced the number of quality, attacking spinners in domestic circuit who can take wickets. Hence we are seeing more and more holding spinners who need square turners to take any wickets. e.g Jadeja, Ashwin.

    Secondly the green tops are allowing otherwise mediocre medium pace bowlers to take wickets by a dozen e.g Dinda, Vinay Kumar etc.

    What India needs is a system where potential Test specialists are picked early, set up facilities for them where overseas conditions can be simulated, send them on tours to Eng/Aus/SA/NZ for 4 day matches and finally compensate them on par with IPL contracts

  • Android on August 20, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    I see England 4 India 1 in the ODI series. .let's see

  • suabhdeep on August 20, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    The solution lies at home not at overseas. Indian must mandate couple of (not all -- that is impractical) selected venues to be absolutely green top, fast and bouncy pitches ignoring any suggestion of the local cricket body or the pitch curator. Then regularly put domestic and international matches in those grounds. This would over a period of time results in emergence of genuine fast deck hitter (not like Aron , Umesh who can only reach top speed when they bowl fuller over pitched deliveries). India need 90mph deck hitters to get success in overseas regularly. Even in this series too India lost momentum while they conceded 500 runs in the third test. Notwithstanding the failures of the batsmen, still the bowlers could have kept India in hunt had they bowled well. In Oval again conceding 400 runs was a crime. Bowlers should not think legitimacy of under performing if batters got out cheaply.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    "Stand on leg stump, move gradually to the off stump while the bowler is running and make sure you defend the ball with the middle of the bat" This will be the mantra of the team now.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    For people crying about India loosing edge because of T20, the series must be an eye opener, Ajinkya Rahane made a name with the Rajasthan Royals as one of the best T20 players, Dhoni the epitome of T20 malace was the second highest scorer and Bhuvi is a T20/ODI player who pulled his socks up, Pujara the test player flopped and so did Kohli , but these guys got runs in SA against Steyn, Morkel and the rest. The problem is not T20, the problem is mental, and that is where some new ideas or morale boost would help, it was sad seeing them loose this way, but even the best captain in the world or the most grittiest one like Steve Waugh would have seen the same fate as Dhoni if his batsman were 4 down for 10

  • joseph on August 20, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    I believe in technics. What Dhoni showed in last few matches is sheer will power which is more important than techniques. And vijay also showed that in the beginning of the series(even he was taking his time against Aus in Ind). Rest of them played how they used to play. Even in the first two matches low order bated well beyond everyones expectation. Selecting Rohit and keep on with Gambir is not a way forward.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    wow ravi will surely choose match winner rather than looking only at technique, the best match winner always produce best partnership. from recent matches and batsman technique we have seen that Rohit sharma , virat kohli, suresh raina, shikhar dhawan, are the most experienced match winner india have and we have ajinkya rahane and ambati raydu to fill those two position of number 5 and 6 than dhoni at 7 than we can of 4 best specialist bowler. Bits and peaces kind of cricketer cannot perform under pressure. four bowler are umesh yadav, varun aaron, Ravindra jadeja/ashwin, bhuvaneshwer kumar.

    remember suresh raina is more than part time bowler, rohit sharma, virat kohli, ambati raydu and shikhar dhawan can bowl 2 overs as well.

  • Dummy4 on August 20, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    I believe team India should give another chance to Sehwag and UV. And also Sanju sampson needs to play as well if team India wants to win matches they needs some strong hitting guys.

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