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Ravi Shastri tipped to be India’s head coach, Zaheer Khan as mentor for quicks

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Zaheer Khan and Ravi Shastri

Mumbai: With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) making Hindi language ‘mandatory’ to be the head coach of Team India, the options are limited and the job is likely to be confined to the Indians only.

Also, the fact that BCCI didn’t bar former India skipper and team’s director Ravi Shastri from again applying for the post, it is likely that Shastri would again throw his hat in the ring and is likely to be given the charge again. With the date of receiving application is fixed at June 10, it is learnt that the former India all-rounder will apply in a day or two.

However, in another development, the BCCI is mulling the option of approaching left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan to mentor India’s fast bowlers. “Zaheer has been spearheading the Indian pace attack for more than a decade and commands respect from all. So he should be the best option to guide our pacers both home and abroad,” a source, who is in the know, told SportsCrunch.

The day after putting up the advertisement for the coach’s role, BCCI has cleared the air that “knowledge in Hindi is desirable and not mandatory”.

It may be recalled that India had four foreign coaches in past — John Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and Duncan Fletcher — but only two of them produced desired results while others either flopped in their roles or were engaged in unnecessary controversy during their stint as India coaches.

The controversy regarding Chappell actually changed the course of Indian cricket and as a result Chappell was rolled out an unceremonious exit following a muddy affair. Fletcher though didn’t have much controversy during his stint, but India’s disastrous performance in Tests abroad made it easier for the board to not renew his contract post World Cup 2015. Shastri was vested with the job of motivating the team thereafter and he did that with perfect precision to only make his case stronger at a time when the board is looking for a full-time coach.

Though BCCI bosses are tight-lipped on the issue, there are rumours that Shastri (if he manages to retain his position) would again want the services of Bharat Arun and Sanjay Bangar, then BCCI would be in a spot of bother.

By the way, the BCCI would have to be in war-footing to make the appointments due to time constraints. The coach would have to be identified by the end of June before India embarks on four-Test tour to the Caribbean islands. The tour of West Indies kicks off on July 6.

Prior to that, a second-string India side, led by limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, would play three ODIs and three Twenty20 games in the African nation with the first ODI slated for June 11.