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Ravi Shastri appointed as Team India's head coach

NEW DELHI, 12 JULY. After weeks of speculation and drama leading to the appointment of Team India's next head coach, BCCI confirmed the Ravi Shastri as the new coach of the Indian cricket team, while also naming Zaheer Khan as the bowling coach. Shastri, in the process, won five-way battle to grab the post until 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The decision was take by threemember Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, who interviewed several candidates for the high-profile job in Mumbai.

Shastri replaced Anil Kumble, who exited after a much publicised difference of opinion with captain Virat Kohli.

"On Cricket Advisory Committee's recommendation, we have decided to appoint Ravi Shastri as the chief coach while Zaheer Khan will be appointed bowling coach for a period of two years till 2019," BCCI acting president CK Khanna confirmed the development to PTI.

"Rahul Dravid will also help the senior team as a batting consultant on overseas tours -- specifically to countries like South Africa, England and Australia," Khanna added.

BCCI headquarters had received a total of 10 applications which included – Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Tom Moody, Dodda Ganesh, Lalchand Rajput, Phil Simmons, Lance Klusener, Rakesh Sharma (Oman national team coach), and Upendranath Bramhachari (an engineer with no cricketing background).

Shastri had previously served as the Team Director of the Men in Blue for a span of almost two years. Under his mentorship, India had managed to reach the semi-final stage of the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World T20. Not only so, India had also attained No. 1 Test ranking, although for a mere eight weeks.

During his time with the national squad, the 55-year-old formed a healthy relationship not only with the skipper Virat Kohli but also with the rest of the members. But all was reduced to sheer disappointment when Anil Kumble was announced as the head coach, back in June 2016.

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 2014 August to 2016 June during which India won Test overseas series versus Sri Lanka, reached the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup and World T20 semi-finals in 2016.

It was learnt that it was a fight between Shastri and Virender Sehwag but it was skipper Virat Kohli's strong recommendation about Shastri's earlier tenure that swung the deal in favour of BCCI's 'Man of All Seasons'.

Zaheer Khan, who last played international cricket in 2014, is considered to be one of the finest exponents of swing bowling India has ever produced.

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