In a surprise move on Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named former India captain Ravi Shastri as Director, Indian Team, for the five-match ODI series against England besides appointing Sanjay Bangar as assistant to chief coach Duncan Fletcher.
While the appointment of Bangar, who came into limelight as a coach by guiding Kings XI Punjab all the way to the IPL-7 final, comes as a welcome surprise, appointing a Team Director is possibly a first in the history of Indian cricket and appears more to be a knee-jerk reaction to India's embarrassing defeat in the Test series.
In a media release from the its Honorary Secretary, Sanjay Patel, the BCCI announced the appointment of Shastri and Bangar, apart from 'resting' fielding coach Trevor Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes.
Along with Bangar, former India pacers Bharat Arun will also assist Fletcher during the ODIs, with R Sridhar joining the squad as fielding coach.
"In culmination of the discussions among all the office-bearers of the BCCI over the last couple of weeks, the BCCI has decided to avail the services of former India captain, Mr. Ravi Shastri, to oversee and guide the Indian cricket team for the forthcoming one-day international matches against England. Mr. Duncan Fletcher will continue as Head Coach while Ravi Shastri will be the overall in-charge of Cricket affairs of the Indian Team," the media release said.
"In their continuing efforts to re-energise the support to the team, the BCCI has given a break to the bowling coach, Mr. Joe Dawes, and the fielding coach, Mr. Trevor Penney, for the one-day series, and appointed Mr. Sanjay Bangar, former Indian allrounder, and former India fast bowler Mr. Bharat Arun as the Asst. coaches of the team. Mr. R. Sridhar will join the support team as the fielding coach for the one-day series," the release further said.
The ODI series begins August 25.