MUMBAI: Just a few days after the BCCI invited applications for the vacant post of India senior men’s team head coach through its website, chief selector Sandeep Patil has thrown his hat into the ring for the high-profile job.
“I have just applied (for the post),” Patil said on Saturday. He did not confirm or deny whether anyone from the BCCI had asked him to do so.
There was speculation that the former dashing batsman and excoach of Kenya had been advised by higher-ups in the Board to apply for the job as the senior selection panel headed by him has already completed most of its top-level assignments till September when his term is scheduled to come to an end.
The five-man panel, which was originally scheduled to pick only the squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe starting in a few days’ time, also picked the team for the July-August tour of the West Indies when they met here on May 23.
Sanjay Bangar has been named the interim coach of the new-look side to Zimbabwe, to be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With India senior team’s next assignment, a series of home engagements, scheduled only in late September or October, Patil has done most of his job barring picking the India ‘A’ team for the tour of Australia in August.
If he gets the job of head coach before September, he will have to quit his current job in the selection panel. The senior team has not had a head coach since the departure of Zimbabwean Duncan Fletcher after the disastrous tour to England in 2014.
Ravi Shastri was made the Team Director even when that tour was in progress and continued in that post till India were knocked out of the World T20 Championship at the semifinal stage by eventual champions West Indies in March.
Shastri is expected to be one of the rivals of his former Mumbai and India team-mate for the head coach’s job.