Ravi Shastri reappointed head coach of Indian team till 2021

Ravi Shastri was on Friday re-appointed head coach of the Indian men's team by the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which unanimously felt that the incumbent's "communication skills and understanding of team issues" stood out.

Shastri, who had the public backing of captain Virat Kohli even before the short-listing was initiated, has been reappointed for a two-year period, ending with the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.

"We have unanimously decided to appoint Ravi Shastri as the (head) coach of the Indian cricket team as you all were expecting," CAC head Kapil Dev told mediapersons after the completion of the candidates' interviews.

The three-member CAC also comprised former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad and ex women's captain Shantha Rangaswamy. 

This will be Shastri's fourth stint with the national team, having served briefly as the Cricket Manager (2007 tour of Bangladesh), Team Director (2014-2016) and head coach (2017-2019).

Shastri pipped former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, Australian Tom Moody and former India teammates Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput to the post.

Former West Indies and Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons pulled out of the race, citing personal reasons.

While Robin, Rajput and Hesson gave in-person presentations, Moody spoke to the panel over Skype from Australia. 

"After doing all (interviews), Tom Moody was third after our marking and Mike (Hesson), an intelligent, young boy from New Zealand was a close second. It was a very close," the former India captain said, implying that Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh were far behind in the race.