Cricket team coach selection: The day has finally come when Indian cricket team will get its new head coach even as Virat Kohli and his men are on their way back from the West Indies tour after winning the five-match ODI series 3-1 and losing the lone T20I match. The team went on the tour without a head coach due to the shocking resignation of Anil Kumble from the position after losing the ICC Champions Trophy Final against Pakistan. But this was not the real reason for Kumble to quit. The former Indian spinner and current Indian skipper had locked horns over a number of issues and these finally led to Kumble quitting. Now, the big guns of the cricketing world have applied for the vacant post. For the record, the Indian Cricket Board had received 10 CVs out of which six got shortlisted for the interview process. The BCCI-appointed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman will take the interviews and announce the new coach on July 10 in Mumbai. The head of the Committee of Administrators Vinod Rai while talking to Wisden India said that Kohli will have no say in the selection of the coaches. He said, “Where does the captain come into play?” he asked.
Here are the six candidates vying for the position of the head coach of the Indian Cricket team:
1) Ravi Shastri:
Shastri had taken up interim responsibilities for this post in the past as Team Director. During this phase, India came back from 1-0 down to win a Test series in Sri Lanka, beat South Africa 3-0 at home and in general showed consistent form across formats. The period also saw excellent results in T20s – they won the Asia Cup and beat Australia in Australia, before crashing out in the semi-final stage of the World T20 at home. The former Indian captain who enjoys the backing of Kohli is said to be the front-runner to take up the post. Shastri who had initially not applied for the position later jumped into the fray after the BCCI had extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9. With this being said, the former Indian director spat with Ganguly who is one of the members of the CAC might be a problem. Shastri back then had alleged that Ganguly was not present when he was being interviewed via Skype. Responding to this Ganguly said that if Shastri was serious he would have appeared in person fo the interview.
2) Virender Sehwag:
Virender Sehwag had sent in a two-line application for the job of India coach before he was persuaded to submit a full resume by the Indian cricket board. His application just said that he is a ‘mentor and a coach of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League and has played with all these (Indian) boys before’. When he was appointed mentor of Kings XI Punjab in the IPL last year – his first coaching stint at any level – Sehwag brought to the job the free-spirited approach that had characterised his batting. Despite Kings XI finishing last in 2016, the management persevered with Sehwag and elevated him to head of cricket operations and strategy for the 2017 season. Kings XI did markedly better this season and remained in contention for the playoffs deep into the season, before finishing fifth.
3) Tom Moody:
Tom Moody nicknamed as “long” for his 6 foot 7-inch height is a serious contender for the post and cannot be ruled out from the race. The ex-Australian bowler has been in the race to be India’s coach previously but lost out to Greg Chapell. Moody became Sri Lanka’s coach a few months later and took them to the final of the 2007 World Cup. He resigned the job soon thereafter and returned to Western Australia. He was also the coach of the Kings XI Punjab franchise in the Indian Premier League before being named coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013. Last year Moody had again applied for the position but lost to Kumble, who was too big a name to be ignored. The strong point for Moody is his calm demeanour and ability to work from behind the scenes.
4) Phil Simmons:
Simmons has been a good coach for smaller teams like Afghanistan and Ireland. He had a stormy stint with the West Indies team as he had issues with regards to team selection.
5) Richard Pybus:
Richard Pybus was the former head coach of the Pakistan and Bangladesh national cricket teams. He was also consultant coach to Pakistan during the 1999 Cricket World Cup when they progressed to the final. The English-born cricket coach is currently the most successful coach in South African first-class cricket having guided the Titans and the Cape Cobras to nine championship titles over six seasons, winning the Supersport Series Four Day Competition four times. He has completed the domestic double three times in a row as a coach, twice with the Titans and once with the Cape Cobras.He was awarded the South African Cricket Coach of the year in 2008–09 and 2010–11 by Cricket South Africa.
6) Lalchand Rajput:
A former Mumbai batsman with a first-class average of nearly 50, Lalchand Rajput’s post-retirement career has been just as, if not more, fruitful. Rajput was the manager of the India team that won the inaugural World T20 in 2007, and he has had successful coaching stints with the India under-19 and A teams. Apart from coaching the Mumbai side in the Ranji Trophy, Rajput, 55, was with Mumbai Indians in the first season of the IPL in 2008. He was also one of the candidates interviewed for the India coaching job last year. While he didn’t make the cut then, Rajput was appointed coach of Afghanistan soon after. He is currently with the Afghanistan team in the West Indies for a limited-overs tour.