Former India men’s cricket team chief coach Ravi Shastri has categorically said that he is not interested in filling the vacant position of England men’s head coach after Chris Silverwood stepped down in the wake of the 0-4 Ashes thrashing in Australia.
The 59-year-old former India cricketer added that seven years at the helm of affairs — which saw India win 10 Test series out of 14 and rose to No. 1 in the rankings, beating Australia twice in their own backyard — had taken its toll.
Asked in an interview by The Guardian if he would be interested in filling the vacant England post, Shastri said, “Oh no, no, don’t go down that route. Seven years with India — a full-time job, 300 days a year, 1.4 billion people judging you every day — that takes its toll. Good luck to anyone who lasts that long.”
Shastri also felt that if Ben Stokes decides to take up England captaincy, it could “fire up” the all-rounder to give an even better performance on the field.
“The adrenaline of captaincy — not that he needs it — could fire Stokes up to be something even more than the incredible player he is now. The important relationship is with the captain — the moment there is friction, things go downhill. But they will be fine because the England I saw last year, they have enough talent and skill to compete. There’s no doubt about that in my mind. It’s all about their mindset.”
Shastri is convinced England need to bring out-of-favour pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Stuart Broad back into the side, as “there is no substitute for experience”. The most successful England bowling pair has aggregated 1177 Test wickets so far.
“Test cricket is the purest form of the game and, if the guys are fit, hungry, you jolly well look in that direction. Every country makes this mistake, looking too far ahead. It’s too easy to look 100ft away and lose the plot by not backing the guys who have been there and done it.”