Virtually snubbing the CAC selection of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan as overseas consultants, newly-appointed head coach of the Indian cricket team Ravi Shastri on Tuesday had his way when the BCCI announced the return of Bharat Arun as bowling coach.
At a media conference, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary also declared the elevation of Sanjay Bangar as assistant coach and retained R. Sridhar as the fielding coach till the 2019 ICC World Cup.
"I was clear in my head about my core team. And what you just heard is my core team," Shastri told reporters after the announcement by the BCCI in his presence.
The media conference took place after Shastri met the newly-formed four-member BCCI committee for the purpose of deciding the coaches, comprising acting President C.K. Khanna, acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and board CEO Rahul Johri.
Shastri's remarks on Tuesday left it unclear on the roles of former India stalwarts Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan who were announced as overseas batting and bowling consultants respectively by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman.
For the record, Shastri said he has talked to both the former players.
"All depends on their availability. It depends on individuals, the number of days they want to give but their inputs will be invaluable and they are most welcome. I have spoken to both of them personally," former India all-rounder Shastri said.
Replying to questions, Choudhary dismissed the view that the CAC's announcement on Dravid and Zaheer was a fiasco.
"I am absolutely clear. It is not a fiasco. As he (Shastri) has made it clear, he wanted his core team and they (Dravid and Zaheer) will be on board. Their contributions are going to be invaluable," he said.
Arun was India's bowling coach during Shastri's previous stint as Team Director and the latter had insisted on his appointment in his soon-to-start second term with the Indian team.
Shastri also expressed his gratitude to the CAC for picking him for the high-profile job.
"I would like to thank the CAC because it is a privilege and honour to be India's coach. And I would like to thank the CAC for considering me worthy enough for the job," he said.
Shastri and his support staff's first assignment will be the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, when the Indian team lands there on Wednesday for three Tests, five One-day Internationals (ODIs) and a solitary Twenty20 International (T20I), starting July 26.