Bangar appointed India's head coach for Zim tour

Sanjay Bangar, the former India all-rounder, was appointed head coach of the Indian team for its limited-overs series in Zimbabwe. Bangar had been serving as an assistant coach of the Indian team for the last eighteen months.

Seniors barring Dhoni (right) were rested for the tour.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Sanjay Bangar, the former India all-rounder, was appointed head coach of the Indian team for its limited-overs series in Zimbabwe. Bangar had been serving as an assistant coach of the Indian team for the last eighteen months. His teammate from Railways, Abhay Sharma, has been appointed as fielding coach for the short series starting June 11.

While announcing the coaching staff appointment in a statement, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not elaborate on re-appointing only one of the four members of the coaching staff whose tenure came to an end with India's last assignment, the World Twenty20, earlier this year. K. Ramesh from Andhra will accompany the team as manager.

Sportstar understands that considering such a short series, the BCCI found it apt to send a curtailed support staff. The presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also factored in, according to a BCCI insider.

Sharma has earlier been associated with the India Women and India A teams and has garnered positive feedback from the players. Since most of the players selected for the Zimbabwe tour have been regulars with India A over the last four years, there will be a level of comfort on either sides for the tour, which will feature three ODIs and as many Twenty20s.

When India toured Zimbabwe for a short series last year, all the three assistant coaches - Bangar (batting), B. Arun (bowling) and R. Sridhar (fielding) - had travelled with the team while team director Ravi Shastri was given a break.

Assistant coaches to re-apply

With the BCCI inviting application for all the coaching posts till June 10, Thursday's announcement may give way to murmurs of the BCCI not being in favour of Shastri, Arun and Sridhar. However, a BCCI functionary clarified the Zimbabwe appointments won't really have any bearing on the full-time coaches.

It is understood that all the three previously assistant coaches, including Bangar, have decided to apply for the coaching roles. It would be interesting to see if Shastri formally applies for the post of the head coach. Shastri had expressed his willingness to continue with the team but the BCCI, in a bid to be transparent, has avoided a closed-door appointment and has sought applications.