The focus has shifted from Indian coach Greg chappell to Tom Moody, currently in charge of Sri Lankan team as Cricket Australia decided to intensify its search for a new coach with plans to announce John Buchanan's successor before next year's World Cup.
Moody, a former Australian all-rounder, and Australian Centre of Excellence coach Tim Nielsen top the shortlisted candidates as CA wanted the replacement named before cricket's showcase event to ensure there is a smooth transition post-World Cup, the 'Herald Sun' reported on Saturday.
A CA sub-committee of former captains Allan Border and Mark Taylor, and former West Australian coach Daryl Foster, is keen to have a replacement by late February.
Earlier this year, Australian media had reported that Chappell was one of the candidates shortlisted by CA but the Indian coach had denied applying for the job.
Moody has international experience on his side -- he played eight Tests between 1989-92, scoring 456 runs at 32.57, and 76 one-day internationals between 1987-99 -- and is a former teammate of current Australian captain, Ricky Ponting.
Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga expects the Australians to make a strong play for Moody.
Ranatunga said Moody had shown great diplomacy and savvy when dealing with the Sri Lankan Cricket Board.
"With all the controversial things happening in Sri Lanka, it's very, very important with the cricket board changing that you can deal with this as all these things can affect the team," Ranatunga said.
Buchanan announced earlier this year he felt it was time to move on after the World Cup.