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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Meet the applicants: The names in the pot for India men’s cricket team head coach

With the BCCI having closed the deadline for receiving new applications for the job of India's head coach on July 30, here is a look at the potential candidates to replace current coach Ravi Shastri.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 2, 2019 9:24:46 am
(L-R) Tom Moody and Mahela Jayawardene are two of the rumoured candidates to be current India head coach Ravi Shastri’s successor

Shortlisting six applications for the role of India cricket team’s head coach, the BCCI will now take its time deciding the fate of Ravi Shastri. The current coaching team, comprising head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R. Sridhar – who were given a 45-day contract extension following the World Cup – will get an automatic entry in the recruitment process.

Ravi Shastri has been the India head coach since July 2017, during which India have won a Test series in Australia, beaten South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in ODIs away from home and won the 2018 Asia Cup.

Here are the two candidates who have confirmed that they have applied for the job:

Robin Singh

The former Indian all-rounder has had an extensive career in coaching ever since he retired from international cricket in 2001. Starting off with coaching India U-19, he went on to coach Hong Kong, India A, before introducing quality fielding to the India national cricket team as a fielding coach in 2007.

Plying his trade in the IPL, he started off with being the head coach of Deccan Chargers, but it was with Mumbai Indians that he gained recognition as a coach. The head coach for three years, and then the batting coach for Mumbai Indians, he has led the team to four trophies.

In other stints, he has been the head coach of Khulna Division, Uva, City Kaitak, Karaikudi Kaalai, Kerala Kings, Northern Warriors and Barbados Tridents.

Lalchand Rajput

Former manager Lalchand Rajput has also thrown his hat in the ring for the job of the Indian cricket team’s head coach. Currently the head coach of Zimbabwe, Rajput is also open to the position of batting coach, according to reports.

The former Mumbai opener, who also played for India, has also coached Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017 and domestic side Assam, apart from a team in the T20 Mumbai League for two years. Apart from that, he has also been named as the coach of the Winnipeg Hawks in 2019 GT20 Canada.

Here are the other four rumoured candidates for the role of India’s head coach:

Gary Kirsten

The 2011 World Cup-winning India cricket team head coach is said to have applied again for the role that he had held for three years. The South African had succeeded Greg Chappell in 2008 and managed to introduce fresh ideas to the team.

After winning the World Cup, he went on to manage his home nation’s cricket team for two years, before going on to coach Delhi Daredevils (2014, 2015) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (2018, 2019).

Gary Kirsten ICC World Cup 2011 Gary Kirsten was the head coach of Team India when they won the 2011 World Cup (Express File Photo)

The former Proteas’ skipper’s name had popped up before as well, when BCCI was looking to replace Ramesh Powar as the head coach of the Indian women’s cricket team, but that responsibility ultimately went to Indian cricketer WV Raman.

Michael Hesson

New Zealand’s longest-serving coach, who was at the helm of the Black Caps for six years, is also said to have submitted his name. Taking the Kiwis to the 2015 World Cup final established his tenure as one of the most successful ones in the history of New Zealand.

Over the years, Hesson developed a reputation for being a brilliant man-manager who can inculcate admirable team chemistry. He currently serves as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab. He has also coached Argentina and Kenya, and Otago in NZ domestic cricket previously.

Tom Moody

Having lost the race to Greg Chappell back in 2005, Tom Moody is reportedly back in contention for the role of head coach. Since then, the 53-year-old led Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup final and then coached Western Australia in the 2007 Big Bash League.

After the introduction of the IPL, he has coached the Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and was most recently appointed the head coach of Rangpur Riders in Bangladesh Premier League.

Mahela Jayawardene

He is reported to have applied for the post. The 42-year-old is considered one of the greatest to grace the field, with more than 20,000 international runs leading Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup final, and playing vital roles in their 2014 World Twenty20 win, and reaching the finals of 2011 World Cup, 2009 World Twenty20 and 2012 World Twenty20.

As a coach, he has seen the most success as Mumbai Indians head coach, winning two IPL trophies in the last three years. Apart from that, he has served as a batting consultant for England and as the head coach of Khulna Titans in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Mahela Jayawardene has won two IPL trophies in the last three years at the helm of Mumbai Indians (File Photo)

The Indian team’s new coaching set-up will be picked up by BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, former head coach Anshuman Gaikwad and Shantha Rangaswamy. The meeting to decide the new set-up has been rescheduled to next Tuesday.

Team India is also set to get a new trainer and physio after the departure of Shankar Basu and Patrick Farhart respectively. The current support staff’s extension period covers the West Indies tour from August 3 to September 3.

India return to action at home in September in the series against South Africa.

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