India's new head coach Ravi Shastri on Wednesday reiterated the fact that the credit for the performance of the team needs to go to the players as the coaches will come and go. On his first press conference as the coach of the Indian team, Shastri reflected on the challenges ahead, the first of which will come in Sri Lanka where the Indian team will play three Tests, five ODIs and a lone T20I starting July 26. Shastri said he has matured immensely in the last two weeks - a period which witnessed a dramatic turn of events eventually leading his appointment as the top post.
"I feel have matured a lot in the last two weeks," said Shastri. The former captain was selected for the high-profile position ahead of big names like Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody. He returns to the role a year after losing out to Anil Kumble, who quit citing "untenable" differences with captain Virat Kohli.
The former India all-rounder insisted that he has moved on from the past. "I don't come with any baggage. The team has done exceedingly well in the last three years, they are the people who deserve credit. The Ravi Shastris and Anil Kumbles will come and go. If India are the number one Test team today, it is because of the effort of the players. People will come and go. The fabric of Indian cricket will remain."
Shastri has also been given his choice of support staff with Bharat Arun being re-appointed the bowling coach on Tuesday. Asked about Arun's contribution during his previous stint with the team, Shastri said Arun knows the boys better than him.
"There is track record there. Fifteen years of his life has been coaching. He has been with A teams, u-19 teams, junior World Cup teams. He knows the boys better than I do. In the 2015 World Cup, our bowlers took 77 out of 80 wickets. If he was a big name, you would have put him on the top of the tree. I don't need to elaborate too much on what he is good at. It is there for everyone to see," he said.
Shastri also mentioned the importance of communication between the captain and the support staff. "I will answer this in two parts, as a player and former captain. When you play the game, you want your your mind clear and that happens with good communication with the support staff. As captain, my job was to put every player in this frame of mind. That was my job and that's his job," he added.