Shastri wants India players to focus on cricket


India coach Ravi Shastri says his main job is to keep the players’ mind clear so they can concentrate on their jobs on the field.

Shastri has taken over the India head coaching role after Anil Kumble resigned after last month’s Champions Trophy saying that his relationship with captain Virat Kohli had become untenable.

A former allrounder who played 80 Tests for India, Shastri’s first task with the national side will be a tour to Sri Lanka where they will three Tests, five ODIs and a T20I, starting on 26 July.

Shastri said at the team’s departure to Sri Lanka on Tuesday: “When you play the game, you want your mind clear. You want to be able to focus inwards without a care in the world for anything outside.

“That happens with good communication with the support staff.

“My job is to do exactly that with every player – to put him in a frame of mind where he is thinking only about his role and he is thinking about the team he is playing for and, of course, the opposition which we always respect. And that’s his job, period.”

Shastri also confirmed that Sanjay Bangar (assistant coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) will be part of his coaching staff.