Kohli free to voice view: Kapil Dev
Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) chairman Kapil Dev on Thursday said that captain Virat Kohli’s opinion on who should coach Team India should be respected, a view echoed by panel member Shantha Rangaswamy.
The former India skipper, who was addressing a media conference here, also played down talk of a rift between Kohli and Rohit Sharma, saying “difference of opinion has no place when you are on the field”.
Before leaving for West Indies on Monday, Kohli had said that he would like current head coach Ravi Shastri to continue.
Asked about the skipper’s public backing of Shastri, Kapil said: “That’s his (Kohli’s) opinion. We should respect everybody’s opinion.”
Kapil’s colleague on the Cricket Advisory Committee, former India captain Rangaswamy, had said as much earlier in the day. “Virat is the captain and he is entitled to his opinion but it will be the collective opinion of the three of us (CAC) which will determine who the next head coach is,” Rangaswamy told PTI.
Former India opener Anshuman Gaekwad, the other member on the panel, had earlier said that the committee is neutral and goes into the process with an open mind. “I endorse Anshuman’s view on the matter,” said Rangaswamy. “We need to look at all aspects — his experience, the ability to bring the team together and how good a strategist one is,” she said. “The totality of that will be considered and individuals don’t matter, it is the collective opinion which will weigh in determining who the head coach is,” she added.
Sourav Ganguly, a former member of the CAC, had also spoken on similar lines on Wednesday.
With Kohli’s public endorsement, Shastri appears to have emerged as the favourite for the job. The others believed to be in the race are Australian Tom Moody and former India internationals Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh. The application deadline ended on Tuesday and the CAC is expected to conduct interviews of the shortlisted candidates mid-August.
Asked about rumours of the alleged rift in the Indian dressing room, especially between Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning skipper said difference of opinion does not mean one is pulling someone down.
“See, you have to do your job. Media also does its bit in case of rumours. Rumours have no place when you are on the field. Off the field, your thinking and approach can be different. But when you take the field, your only aim is to do well and help your team win the game. That’s where your focus is.
“Besides, difference of opinion doesn’t mean you are pulling someone down,” said Kapil, whose relationship with batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was the subject of much speculation during the eighties.