India head coach Ravi Shastri and his fellow coaches are all set to bring some wholesome changes in the team in their second stint. Last month, the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee had appointed the new head coach last month before the selectors finalised the support staff. And both the panels retained most of the members barring the batting coach.
While Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar retained their posts as head coach, bowling coach and fielding coach respectively, Vikram Rathour replaced Sanjay Bangar as batting coach. The coaching team has already decided on the work it is going to do in the new tenure. According to reports, the emphasis will be on fitness and a new opening combination in Tests.
Mumbai Mirror has reported that the coaching staff will insist on an increased benchmark as a minimum requirement for players to be eligible to represent the country. Ravi Shastri is likely to increase the minimum Yo-Yo mark for players to 17. Currently, the Indian players need to periodically attain 16.1 to be eligible to play for the country.
In the last couple of years or so, several Indian players failed to clear the mandatory fitness test. Consequently, they lost their spots in the squads. With the level now increase, the players now need to prioritise fitness or else risk axe from the teams.
“Fitness is integral to participation at the international level and the minimum qualification will be 17,” a source told the news outlet.
The new arrangement is likely to be in place from the upcoming South Africa series this month. India will play three T20Is and three Tests against South Africa, starting from September 15. India will be confident of beating the Proteas after the stunning tour of West Indies. The Virat Kohli-led side did not lose a single game on the tour barring one ODI which was washed out.