The former India captain and coach is not part of the seven experts shortlisted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the six-game series that starts in Ahmedabad on February 6.
Sunil Gavaskar, L Sivaramakrishnan, Harsha Bhogle, Murali Kartik, Deep Dasgupta and Ajit Agarkar are the six Indians in the list for the three ODIs with Ian Bishop, the West Indian, joining them in the Ahmedabad games. The list will be one less (Sivaramakrishnan) for the three Twenty20 Internationals in Kolkata.
Shastri, currently in Oman as the commissioner of Legends Cricket League in Muscat, could not be contacted for a comment but sources close to him have revealed that he could have taken a break. He will also not do the commentary for the next home series, against Sri Lanka in February-March.
“He has taken a conscious decision not to take up commentary immediately, at least till the IPL. He has a lot on the table and for two more months he will remain busy. He will think over it after that,” said a source close to him. Shastri, who coached India for seven years in two stints, is one of the biggest names when it comes to commentary. He was expected to take up the television mic immediately after he ended the India stint after the Twenty20 World Cup in 2021 November.
The commentary assignments have always been controversial with the BCCI officials using personal discretions in making the postings. The prominent in this case is Sanjay Manjrekar who has been consistently left out of the BCCI panel of world feed commentators allegedly because board president Sourav Ganguly has a past history with him.