Virat Kohli backed Virender Sehwag as coach, but not his choice of support staff, says report

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Virat Kohli backed Virender Sehwag as coach, but not his choice of support staff, says report

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SportsCafe Desk

07/15/2017

It has been revealed that Virat Kohli had backed Virender Sehwag for the Indian coaching job, but was not happy with the latter's choice of support staff, which eventually resulted in Sehwag losing out to new coach Ravi Shastri. Shastri was named as the Indian coach on Tuesday on a two-year deal.

The Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and VVS Laxman, confirmed Shastri as  India's head coach on Tuesday and announced that Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid would take over the roles of bowling coach and batting consultant respectively. 

The quest for the next head coach started when Anil Kumble stepped down from his role on June 20th, owing to his "untenable" equation with Virat Kohli. Ever since then, a whole host of names has been linked to the Indian coaching job, including the likes of Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Lalchand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, and Richard Pybus.

According to a report, the Indian team had no problem with any of the candidates who applied for the role and they had made it clear that they would not interfere with the CAC's decision. This also meant that the team was open to being coached by former Indian opener, Sehwag, who was one of the five candidates who had been interviewed by the CAC.

"After his stint as mentor of Kings XI Punjab, Viru was growing more confident by the day that he had the potential required to work at a higher level in a similar capacity. It was then that a senior BCCI official asked him to apply (for the role of India coach) if he could make up his mind," someone in the know of things told TOI.

Following this suggestion, Sehwag thought about the role and wanted a clearer idea of the situation, which is why he decided to approach Kohli.

"Of course, Viru paa. Your contribution to Indian cricket is great and we're all so familiar with you. I have no problems whatsoever in you applying for the role. Anybody who thinks he can contribute his best for Indian cricket can and should apply," Kohli told Sehwag.

But things turned against Sehwag when he proposed to bring along with him a team of support staff that would include physiotherapist Amit Tyagi and Kings XI Punjab assistant coach Mithun Manhas. That's when Kohli told Sehwag that he can’t help him in the given situation as there already was a set-up in place which could not be changed.

"Paaji, I have a lot of respect for you for what you can bring to the table but you have to understand that there is a professional set-up in place, therefore this cannot happen. The rest is up to the CAC," Kohli said. "There is a support staff in place and has worked with this team for a while now. In fact there are individuals who understand the needs of team members on an individual basis," Kohli explained.

It is here that Shastri managed to become the front-runner, considering he was willing to have a more inclusive approach as far as he, the skipper and the team members were concerned.

"The CAC did a fair job in assessing all candidates and came with the best possible decision," sources said. "What went in Shastri's favour was also the fact that he understood the importance of the work ethic put in place by the existing support staff members who have worked with the team for close to three years," the source added. 

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