India coach: Shastri too in the race

Ravi Shastri has applied for the post of India coach, thus joining Sandeep Patil in the race for one of the most sought-after jobs in global cricket.

Ravi Shastri served as the team director from the middle of India's tour of England in 2014 till the end of World T20 2016.   -  K. R. Deepak

Sandeep Patil's tenure as the chairman of the national selection panel ends in September this year.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Ravi Shastri, who was in charge of India’s cricket team till its last assignment, has applied for the post of the India coach. Shastri thus joins incumbent chief selector Sandeep Patil as the second high-profile candidate to formalise interest in perhaps the most sought-after post in global cricket.

“I have emailed the Board this morning,” Shastri told Sportstar.

He is also understood to have emailed his roadmap for the Indian team till the 2019 World Cup. The former India captain did not elaborate on it, stating he has “kept it simple”.

Shastri served as the team director till the end of India’s World Twenty20 campaign in March since taking over the reins midway through India’s disastrous tour to England in 2014. Known for an astute cricketing brain, Shastri had expressed his keenness to continue working with the national team even after the term of the arrangement expired.

With Shastri having formally applied for the post, he will surely emerge as the biggest contender. The fact that he has built a brilliant rapport with Test captain Virat Kohli may go in his favour.

However, apart from other possible strong contenders emerging before the deadline for applications on June 10, Shastri will face stiff competition from former Mumbai and India team-mate Patil. After spending almost two decades on various coaching assignments, including a short stint with India in 1996, Patil settled into the role of the chairman of the national selection panel in October 2012.

Since the BCCI has a cap of a maximum of four years for a national selector, Patil’s term is scheduled to end in September, freeing him for the coaching job.

Besides knowing most active cricketers well thanks to his stint as a selector, Patil has the advantage of also being familiar with even the fringe players as he was, in the not too distant past, director of the National Cricket Academy.

Robin Singh, Venkatesh Prasad in fray

Former India fielding coach Robin Singh is also understood to have applied. Ever since his axing in 2009, Singh has been primarily associated with Mumbai Indians in various capacities.

Besides Singh, some of the domestic coaches of repute are also likely to enter the fray. Former India manager Lalchand Rajput, former bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and former India A coach Pravin Amre are also expected to submit their applications along with a few other domestic coaches by Friday.

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