Indian team's support staff likely to get contract extensions before WC

The Indian team support staff, comprising batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar, are most likely to get contract extensions which would see them work with the team for the series against West Indies.

Sanjay Bangar (left), Ravi Shastri (centre), Bharat Arun (right) and R. Sridhar are likely to get contract extensions.   -  K. V. S. Giri

The existing support staff, led by chief coach Ravi Shastri, stands a good chance of getting an extension. The authorities are reportedly happy with their work and are inclined to stretch the contract beyond the forthcoming World Cup in England.

Shastri, who succeeded Anil Kumble in July 2017, was offered a two-year contract which comes to an end after the World Cup. India, after losses in two back-to-back series in South Africa and England last year, went on to register its first ever Test series win on Australia soil.

Shastri had termed the Australian triumph as greater than the 1983 World Cup feat, a comment which did not find favour with many of his team-mates part of that epic win.

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The support staff is learnt to have been sounded to continue with the team for the West Indies tour soon after the World Cup. India is scheduled to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three T20 matches. Incidentally, India's last visit to the West Indies, in June-July 2017, had come after the Champions Trophy loss to Pakistan with Kumble not travelling with the team.

The support staff, comprising batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar, were hand-picked by Shastri. The captain, Virat Kohli, has also struck a healthy rapport with the support staff.

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If the Committee of Administrators (CoA) decides to invite fresh applications for the posts, the current lot would qualify automatically. In that case the process would have to be initiated before the team leaves for the World Cup. There is a section in the Board which believes it would not be advisable to create any uncertainty before the team leaves for England.

It is learnt the authorities may offer the support staff an extension which may last until the 2020 T20 World Cup. As of now, there is also no confirmation if the three members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S Laxman – may continue to perform their role when picking the next coach.

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