After much speculation and drama, Team India finally got a head coach on Tuesday when Ravi Shastri was chosen for the job vacated by Anil Kumble. But interestingly, when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) first invited applications, the 55-year-old former all-rounder was not keen on applying for the role. It's only when he realised that the team is going through a tough time with the so called 'Kumble-Kohli' spat, he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
"I didn't apply in the first place. What did make me apply was when I realised that there was a huge problem there. Initially, I didn't reply but I didn't realise how serious the issues were," he told mid-day.
Shastri said that he was taken by surprise when reports started emerging of a rift between Kumble and India skipper Virat Kohli. He understood that the team were dealing with serious issues and it was upon him to tackle the problems and put an end to it.
"When the BCCI reopened the (application window), I gave it a thought and said to myself, 'you must (apply) because you have been instrumental in (the appointment of) your support staff and have seen where your team has risen to. Now, you can also see in front of your eyes that there is a problem, so instead of backing away from it, take it head on,'" he told the Mumbai-based tabloid.
When he was asked about working with team's new support staff consisting of former Indian players Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid, Shastri said he is always open to new set of ideas and it will only do good to the team that Dravid and Zaheer share their inputs.
Shastri will begin his new stint with the team when India take on Sri Lanka in the first Test, which is set to start on 26 July at Galle. India is scheduled to play three Tests and five ODIs against the Lankans.