Willing to take up added responsibility as coach: Ravi Shastri

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Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) Indian cricket team’s director Ravi Shastri on Sunday said he is willing to take up added responsibility of being the head coach of the team but insisted that there was no need to have a coach for the Bangladesh tour.

“We have got three coaches. I can double up and do the job of a coach if needed. There is no need of another head coach for the tour,” former Indian captain Shastri told media persons here.

Asked if he was willing to take the added responsibility of being both the coach and the team director and continue with it, Shastri said: “When we come back, I will have a chat with the board. I don’t rule it out at all. I might be there a lot longer than you think.”

He also said that he would be open to suggestions from the recently made advisory committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which comprises India greats Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman.

“Look at the people in the advisory committee… they come with a lot of quality. They have been around for a long time and they can only contribute and take Indian cricket forward. So, when we come back from Bangladesh I will have a chance to sit with the board and take things from there,” he said.

Shastri also said that he believed it will be difficult for the bowers to adjust from the T20 format to Tests but added that the sooner the bowling outfit adapted the better it will be for them.

“Time is short and the players have to very quickly get into the frame of mind (for playing in Tests). The good thing is we have got experience, there is youth but there is experience and now we have Harbhajan in the side. He is a world-class operator and he will bring plenty to the plate. It is a question of working as a unit.

“Nobody will be the leader of the pack… it is about the India bowling outfit. How quickly the bowlers adapt to the conditions will be crucial and beneficial for the side,” he said.

The 53-year-old also welcomed the decision of making Rahul Dravid the coach of the Under-19 and India ‘A’ teams and said the youngsters are going to benefit hugely from his vast experience.

Dravid was named the coach on Saturday as confirmed by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

“I have had a chat with Dravid and there is no better news for Indian cricket than a champion like Rahul in charge of the youngsters. You cannot have a bigger role model than that man and the dedication he has shown towards the game is surely going to benefit the youngsters.

“Being in the senior team I’m extremely happy the conversations will be frank, honest. He will tell us which guys will come up the ranks which will in turn help the senior Indian cricket team.”

Shastri added that though the Bangladesh tour looks like a cake-walk he would not take them lightly. “We respect every opponent we play against,” he concluded.

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