Shastri: You've to be an excellent fielder to play for India

A day after Ravi Shastri was retained as the head coach of the Indian men’s team, the former all-rounder has said it's a 'privilege and an honour' to be part of the Virat Kohli-led side.

India captain Virat Kohli with Ravi Shastri.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

A day after Ravi Shastri was retained as the head coach of the Indian men’s team, the former all-rounder has said it's a 'privilege and an honour' to be part of the Virat Kohli-led side.

"The reason I came in is because I had this belief in this team could leave a legacy that very few teams have left behind in years, not just for the moment they are playing but at the end of it all for other sides to emulate," Shastri said in a video released by the BCCI.

Shastri — who is currently with the team in the West Indies — appeared for the interview via Skype and gave a detailed presentation on the road map for the future. The CAC — comprising Kapil, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy — interviewed five short-listed candidates — Lalchand Rajput, Robin Singh, Mike Hesson, Tom Moody and Shastri — throughout the day before zeroing in on the former India captain for the job.

 

"There's room for improvement with youth coming in through the ranks," Shastri said.

"It is important to learn from the mistakes ....no one is perfect. The key is to strive for excellence and focus on getting over the barrier. This side has been superbly consistent."

The overall fielding standards of India in the recently concluded World Cup, despite the disappointing exit in the semifinal, were praiseworthy and Shastri alluded to this improvement. "Over the last four-five years, the biggest improvement has been in the fielding department. There's a clear diktat to whoever wants to play in this side: the standards of fielding in white-ball have to be of the highest level."

"This team has the belief to travel and beat teams in their backyard. Collectively looking at the coaches, players and the team management, the emphasis will be on keeping the consistency going. Next two years, there will be a smooth transition happening, with youngsters coming into the Test and ODI setup. We also need to identify another three-four bowlers to add to the set-up."