The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Thursday, announced the India ‘A’ teams that will travel to South Africa for a one-day tri-series which will be followed by two four-day matches.
Manish Pandey will lead the team in the one-day matches while his Karnataka teammate Karun Nair will skipper the side in the longer format.
Pandey missed the ICC Champions Trophy and the tour to West Indies because of a side strain and will want to impress the selectors with a good performance in South Africa.
India ‘A’ will face South Africa ‘A’ and Australia ‘A’ in a one-day series which is scheduled to begin on July 26 with the final to be held on August 8.
The Indians will then face hosts South Africa ‘A’ in two four-day matches, beginning on August 12 and 19.
Manish Pandey (c), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Karun Nair, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Basil Thampi, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Siddarth Kaul.
Karun Nair (c), PK Panchal, Abhinav Mukund, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Sudip Chatterjee, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Aniket Choudhary, Ankit Rajpoot.
Ravi Shastri has confirmed that he is applying to become the next head coach of India, and if he gets the role, it won’t be the first time that he would have been part of the backroom staff.
Shastri’s first stint as the team manager (effectively for a caretaker spell) came after India’s forgettable World Cup campaign in 2007. It was no surprise that then coach Greg Chappell was sacked after the Men in Blue failed to qualify from the Super 8 stage of the tournament after defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Under his leadership, India performed well and won the subsequent ODI series (2-0) and Test series (1-0) against Bangladesh. But, Chandu Borde then took the reigns for the tours of Ireland and England that followed.
It was then in 2014 when former Mumbai batsman Shastri was appointed as the Team Director.
His return to the international fold followed India’s 3-1 drubbing at the hands of England in the 2014 Test series and he worked alongside Duncan Fletcher, assisting the Zimbabwean, who was the head coach at the time.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo back then, Shastri said: “My role is to oversee everything. All of them report to me.”
The Shastri and Fletcher partnership got off to a good start as India bounced back from the Test series loss to win the ODIs against England 3-1, before losing the one-off T20I.
Always loved working with Team India and hopefully they find the coach most suited for their team.— Gary Kirsten (@Gary_Kirsten) June 27, 2017
India then went on to defeat West Indies 2-1 in a shortened ODI series, after which they whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0 with both series being played at home.
Then came a Test series against Australia Down Under, where the hosts triumphed 2-0, but it could have been different if not for a batting collapse in the first Test at Adelaide. India were 242-2 in pursuit of a fourth-innings target of 364 before getting bowled out for 315.
The Men in Blue didn’t perform well in the ODI tri-series that followed, failing to win a single match against Australia and England.
That might not have been the ideal preparation going into the 2015 World Cup, but the Indian team stepped up to the plate when needed in cricket’s biggest 50-over competition. Coming into the tournament as defending champions, MS Dhoni’s team won all six group matches and finished top of Pool B.
A quarter-final victory over Bangladesh saw India set up a meeting with hosts Australia in the semi-final and it was there where India’s run came to an end. Despite the semi-final exit, the Indian team bowed out of the tournament with their heads held high.
Following the World Cup, Fletcher’s contract came to an end and Shastri stayed on as the Team Director.
As such, India went on with no coach and instead opted for specialised bowling, batting and fielding coaches.
In June 2015, India suffered a disappointing 2-1 ODI series loss against Bangladesh away from home.
That proved to be the start of his downfall when it came to limited overs cricket.
Shastri wasn’t part of the coaching staff as India toured Zimbabwe next but he did return for the away Test series against Sri Lanka which was won by India 2-1 – their first series win in the longest format on Sri Lankan turf since 1993.
South Africa toured India next and the Proteas managed to win the T20I and ODI series before Virat Kohli led the hosts to fight back and claim the Test series 3-0.
Come January 2016, India returned to Australia again and lost the one-dayers 4-1 but whitewashed the Aussies 3-0 in 20-over competition.
The momentum of that series win seemed to stay with India as they enjoyed a 2-1 success over Sri Lanka in the T20 series at home and claimed the Asia Cup title – winning each one of their five games.
The World T20 at home came next and the Indian team got off to a poor start, losing to New Zealand in their first game. However, they put that defeat behind them and won their next three matches to qualify for the semi-finals.
Eventual winners West Indies put in a brilliant display to defeat India in their own backyard to stun millions who had harboured hopes once again of having another ICC trophy in the cabinet to celebrate on home soil.
This was Shastri’s last assignment with the Indian team as he did not make the trip to Zimbabwe in June 2016.
Although he later applied for the vacant head coach position, the BCCI opted for legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble.
One year on, now the former leg-spinner has left the position, Shastri is, according to many reports, the favourite to land the job.
Former captain Ravi Shastri will apply to become India’s head coach after the national cricket board extended the application deadline following Anil Kumble’s shock exit, reports said Thursday.
“Yes, I have decided to apply for the job,” the cricketer-turned-television commentator was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.
Top names such as former batsman Virender Sehwag and Australia’s Tom Moody are already in the running for one of the toughest jobs in cricket.
Shastri applied for the job last year after being team director between 2014-16. Kumble was appointed instead and coached India to five Test series victories but resigned last week, stating his partnership with India captain Virat Kohli had become “untenable”.
Former all-rounder Shastri, 55, has been touted as a strong candidate who has a good relationship with Kohli.
The new coach for the world’s number one Test team will be decided by a three-man committee made up of former India stars Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Ganguly was reportedly key in Kumble being chosen over Shastri in June last year. The two former captains have publicly rowed over the coach’s post.
However Ganguly said of Shastri’s renewed candidacy: “Everybody has the right to apply. We will find out.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has said applications will be accepted until July 9. The BCCI is aiming to announce the new coach before India head to Sri Lanka in July.