Ravi Shastri or Virender Sehwag? BCCI drags feet on Indian cricket team coach | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ravi Shastri or Virender Sehwag? BCCI drags feet on Indian cricket team coach

Ravi Shastri and Virender Sehwag were top contenders for the head coach position of the Indian cricket team but the BCCI has postponed naming a replacement for Anil Kumble.

cricket Updated: Jul 10, 2017 20:40 IST
HT Correspondent
Virender Sehwag , Ravi Shastri and Sachin Tendulkar share a joke at the ICC Annual Awards at the Grand Castle, on October 6, 2010 in Bangalore. Shastri and Sehwag are vying for the head coach’s job of the Indian cricket team.
Virender Sehwag , Ravi Shastri and Sachin Tendulkar share a joke at the ICC Annual Awards at the Grand Castle, on October 6, 2010 in Bangalore. Shastri and Sehwag are vying for the head coach’s job of the Indian cricket team.(Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has deferred naming the chief coach for the senior Indian cricket team. What turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts, Sourav Ganguly of the Cricket Advisory Committee told reporters on Monday evening that they were in “no hurry” to name Anil Kumble’s replacement. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Five candidates were interviewed on Monday. Virender Sehwag, who was only one who turned up personally, spent close to an hour with the high-profile CAC that also has VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar as members. This panel had dramatically named Kumble as the head coach in June last year.

(Read | Why Ravi Shastri is better than Anil Kumble, reveals Indian cricket team insider)

Two foreign coaches -- Tom Moody and Richard Pybus -- were interviewed by the panel on Monday. West Indian aspirant Phil Simmons wasn’t interviewed. Lalchand Rajput is the third Indian in fray.

SETBACK FOR RAVI SHASTRI

The postponement will come as a setback for Ravi Shastri, who was being widely tipped to become the head coach again. Shastri, apparently a Virat Kohli favourite, was interviewed on Skype. Last year, too, Shastri had skipped a front-to-front interview with the CAC.

(Read | Ganguly-Shastri public spat will dent BCCI’s image further)

Not turning up personally for the chief coach’s job was one of the factors that went against Shastri. The former all-rounder and Ganguly were involved a bitter war of words.

On Monday at the BCCI’s Cricket Centre, Ganguly said the committee wanted to speak to Kohli before arriving at a final decision. “Everyone must be on the same page,” said Ganguly. “We will need a few more days,” he added. It is clear that Shastri was not an automatic choice.

(Read | Sourav Ganguly’s criteria for next India coach: ‘One who wins matches’)

The BCCI said the process of selecting the head coach had been completed. If the length of interview is any indication, Sehwag will be a favourite, but equations can change. India may be without a head coach for the series against Sri Lanka starting on July 26.

KUMBLE PIPPED SHASTRI

Shastri was the odds-on-favourite to win back his position. He was Indian cricket team director for two years (2014-16). Shastri did not get an automatic extension from the CAC last year and Anil Kumble, a late entrant, was named coach for a year.

(Read | Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli rift should’ve been handled better: Sourav Ganguly)

Kumble’s contract expired at the end of the ICC Champions Trophy final where India were mauled by Pakistan at The Oval on June 18. Apparently, the CAC and BCCI officials failed to strike a compromise between Kohli and Kumble during the Champions Trophy.

Shastri did not apply for the coach’s job when the BCCI first advertised on June 1. After Kumble withdrew from the race of becoming coach on June 20 and the BCCI advertised for fresh candidates on June 23, Shastri jumped in.

(Read | Anil Kumble vs Virat Kohli – The great Indian cricket drama)

Kumble refused to carry on as chief coach after reports of a ‘rift’ with Kohli emerged. Kumble, during whose coaching tenure India won 12 Tests to become the No. 1 Test side, expressed his shock when he learnt that the team did not like his presence in the dressing room.

The Indian captain and some teammates were unhappy with Kumble’s ways of handling the team and complained to the BCCI mandarins. The captain and coach were hardly on talking terms during the Champions Trophy.

Sanjay Bangar stepped in as coach on the tour of the West Indies. India won the ODI series but lost the one-off T20 on Sunday.