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Shastri set to be retained as India head coach

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Virat Kohli has backed Ravi Shastri to continue as the India coach.

Mumbai: India’s head coach Ravi Shastri is a runaway favourite to retain his post when the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviews the six short-listed candidates here on Friday.

Apart from Shastri, the other big names who will give presentations to the three-member committee include former Australia all-rounder and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, along with ex-New Zealand and Kings XI Punjab coach Mike Hesson.

India’s 2007 World T20-winning cricket manager Lalchand Rajput, former Mumbai Indians head coach Robin Singh and West Indies’ Phil Simmons, who until recently was Afghanistan national team coach, are the other candidates in fray.

Shastri’s record since his comeback in 2017 has been very impressive, having guided the team to its maiden Test series win on Australian soil last year.

In 21 Tests since July 2017, under Shastri, India won 13 of them with a victory percentage of 52.38. It’s even better in T20Is with 25 wins from 36 games with a win percentage of 69.44. The ODI record takes the cake with 43 wins in 60 games and a success rate of 71.67.

The only blip could be the fact that in 2015 World Cup in Australia (when he was Team Director) and the last edition in UK, the team couldn’t go beyond the semi-finals.

But the complete domination in the Caribbean, in both T20s and ODIs, indicates that he has been doing most of the things correctly.

With a very vocal and public backing from skipper Virat Kohli, it will be a major surprise if the ‘Champion of Champions’ is not back at the helm till the 2021 World T20 in India.

“Well, the CAC (Cricket Advisory Committee headed by Kapil Dev) has not contacted me on this. But all of us share a great camaraderie with Ravi bhai and would definitely be very happy (to have him around),” Kohli had said prior to his departure for the West Indies, making it clear where he stands on the issue.

Also Read: Key factors CAC should consider while selecting India’s next coach

Shastri is expected to appear via a video call while Rajput, Hesson and Singh are expected to appear in person in front of a panel that will also comprise former India women’s captain Shantha Rangaswamy and opener Anshuman Gaekwad.

Shastri, who has played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs, was contracted till the World Cup in England, but he was given a 45-day extension till the end of the ongoing West Indies tour, where the visitors have won both the T20 and ODI series.

Shastri’s nearest competitor could be Hesson, considered one of the shrewdest coaches around and Moody, who has had a successful record as an IPL coach for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Moody has appeared a couple of times for the coaches’ interview but was not considered, and this time his task is even more uphill.

Rajput has also tried to get the coveted job multiple times and he might miss out again as Shastri’s credentials are too strong to be ignored.

There could, however, be some debate over if Shastri will be able to retain his complete support staff. The interviews for batting, bowling and fielding coaches will be conducted by the selection committee headed by MSK Prasad.

The position for administrative manager — Sunil Subramaniam’s poor conduct has been criticised by one and all — will also be up for grabs.

While Bharath Arun is all but certain to be retained as bowling coach having played his part in creating a potent pace attack, the same can’t be said of former all-rounder Sanjay Bangar.

The only thing that can save Bangar is if Shastri, in his capacity, demand his own support staff.

Vikram Rathour is in running for the post with a fair amount of backing from one of the influential figures in Indian cricket’s junior set-up. Unless things change drastically, Rathour remains the favourite to pip Bangar.

Incumbent R Sridhar is also ahead in the fielding coach’s race even though he will be in direct competition with the legendary Jonty Rhodes, who has worked with Mumbai Indians.

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Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja among 19 sportspersons nominated for Arjuna Award

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Jadeja has played 156 ODIs, 42 T20Is and 41 Tests for India

New Delhi: Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja has been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award by the award selection committee on Saturday. The list includes 19 other sportspersons like Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.

Earlier, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had recommended fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team leg-spinner Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna Award. Ravindra Jadeja showcased a spectacular show with a 59-ball 79 innings against New Zealand in the semi-final during World Cup 2019.

The Arjuna Awards are given to honour excellence in sports by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India. In 2018, Indian woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana was the only cricketer to receive the prestigious award.

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Russel Domingo appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach

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Russel Domingo has coached South Africa national team from 2013 to 2017.

New Delhi: Russell Domingo has been appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach on Saturday.

The 44-year-old South African has agreed on a two-year term with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and is expected to arrive in Dhaka on 21 August to take charge of the national team.

Announcing the appointment  BCB president Nazmul Hassan, said, Domingo’s vision for Bangladesh made him the ideal candidate for the role, “He has a wealth of experience and we have been very impressed with his passion and coaching philosophy. He has a clear idea of what is required to take the team forward.”

Domingo said he was eagerly looking ahead to his new challenge, “It is a massive honour to be appointed the Head Coach of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team. I have followed Bangladesh’s progress with keen interest and I am extremely excited to assist the team in reaching the goals that they are capable of.

“I look forward to continuing the ongoing development of current players whilst also looking towards the future and developing some new bright stars from within the talent pool of Bangladesh cricket,” he added.

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Ashes: Rain truncates play as England reduce Australia to 80/4 on Day 3

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Play abandoned due to the weather, Australia will resume today on 80/4

New Delhi: Not a single ball could be bowled after lunch as England made the most of the seam-friendly conditions to dent Australia’s top-order and leave them stuttering at 80/4 before showers forced a break to be taken early on Day 3 of the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Friday.

It rained heavily post-lunch as played seemed unlikely as time progressed. It was called off after a final inspection at 5:20 p.m. local time with two days left for a result to the game.

The Aussies won the first rubber by a handsome margin. Steve Smith, whose twin tons helped the Aussies script the memorable 251-run victory in the first rubber at Edgbaston, remained at the crease on 13 off 40 balls (2×4) as other batsmen fell around him.

For England, pace spearhead Stuart Broad picked up two wickets with debutant Jofra Archer and in-form Chris Woakes scalping one each. England rode Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow’s fifties on Day 2 to post 258 after the first day’s play was washed out.

Resuming from overnight score of 30/1, the tourists lost Cameron Bancroft (13) who was trapped in front by Archer. Bancroft reviewed the decision but replays showed the ball nipping back nicely off the seam and hitting the pads in line.

Archer celebrated his first Test wicket to rousing applause from the packed crowd as Smith walked in to bat.

Usman Khawaja looked good for his 36 from 56 deliveries, before Woakes found his outside edge with a good length delivery outside off stump. Khawaja pushed at the ball to give Bairstow a regulation catch behind the stumps.

Travis Head (7) could not dig in for long as he was out plumb in front to Broad who was first turned down by umpire Aleem Dar with a review showing the ball hitting the middle stump with no inside edge.

At 71/4, the Aussies were in all sorts of trouble but Smith looked in a league of his own, once again trying to save his side from a collapse. Matthew Wade joined him at the other end and defended 19 balls without scoring when lunch was taken as it started drizzling.

Brief scores: 1st innings: England 258 all out (Rory Burns 53, Jonny Bairstow 52; Josh Hazlewood 3/58, Pat Cummins 3/61, Nathan Lyon 3/68) Australia 80/4 (Usman Khawaja 36, Steve Smith 13 batting; Stuart Broad 2/26) at lunch.

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