Newly-appointed India head coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday hinted that he and former India captain Sourav Ganguly had buried the hatchet, saying that there was "mutual respect" amongst them despite their ill-natured relationship.
"We're two former captains. There will be arguments. But there's mutual respect. Individuals don't matter, it's Indian cricket that takes centrestage," Shastri was quoted as saying in an interview on India Today.
Shastri also welcomed Zaheer Khan, who has been appointed as India's bowling consultant, and Rahul Dravid, who will be India's batting consultant for overseas tours, into the support staff saying that their inputs would be valuable to the team.
"The inputs will be invaluable. Even when I was in charge, I had a chat with both Zak (Zaheer) and Rahul, (that) at some stage please come and spend some time with the boys. I always believe when you're on the road, you need fresh input," Shastri told India Today.
Shastri was finally confirmed as Anil Kumble's successor in the role on Tuesday — a day that saw a plenty of confusion over the BCCI-appointed Cricket Advisory Commitee's (CAC) formal announcement — and while the former India captain was the front-runner in the race to the job, it was the appointment of Zaheer and Rahul, legends of the game themselves, that came as a surprise.
When the BCCI advertised for the job for the first time in its history last year, Shastri was a favourite for the job. That was before Kumble threw his hat in the ring, and eventually got the job. Shastri then had a public falling out with CAC member Ganguly, who accused the former of not taking the job seriously by vacationing in Thailand in the interview round.
Kumble stepped down as the head coach last month, announcing it in a post on his official Twitter account shortly after the conclusion of the Champions Trophy, where India lost in the final. In his resignation letter, Kumble mentioned that he got to know about the captain's "reservations" about his coaching style through the BCCI, and that the relationship between him and Kohli had become "untenable". Kohli, though, lashed out at Kumble against revealing dressing room talk to the public in a press conference shortly after, saying that the sanctity of the dressing room had to be maintained.
Shastri too backed Kohli on his stance in the issue. Speaking to Times Now he was quoted as saying, "I believe the dressing room is like a temple, mosque, gurudwara. What is said in the dressing room stays in the dressing room."
Talking about the current Indian team, the cricketer-turned-commentator was effusive in his praise for Kohli and Co.
"This can be a better Test team than we've ever had. This is a team that one can travel with. They can easily be No 1 in all formats," Shastri said.
Shastri's first assignment in the job will be the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which is India's first full tour of the island nation since 2009.