Kumble, Shastri favourites to be India coach

According to sources, Anil Kumble and the team’s former director Ravi Shastri are the favourites to be the next coach. The two, along with Pravin Amre, Lalchand Rajput, Tom Moody and Stuart Law, made their presentations to the BCCI advisory committee on Tuesday.

Special Arrangement

Anil Kumble during a school volunteer programme in Bengaluru. Kumble along with Ravi Shastri are considered favourites to become India's coach.

Wednesday was supposed to be the deadline for the high-profile coach recommendation committee to submit its suggestion to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke.

However, thanks to a plethora of complexities, the committee that includes three stalwarts and a respectable cricketer-turned-administrator has been granted extension till Friday morning, barely minutes before the crucial BCCI working committee meeting.

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“The committee appointed by the BCCI for the selection of head coach of the Indian cricket team met today to deliberate further on the options and possibilities based on the presentations made by the applicants,” said a BCCI statement on Wednesday evening.

“After detailed deliberations, it was decided that they would further go through the finer details and submit their report to the honorary secretary of the BCCI on the morning of June 24, 2016.”

Sportstar understands that after interviewing the shortlisted candidates on Tuesday night, the committee of V. V. S. Laxman, former captains Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, along with Sanjay Jagdale as its convener, were far from finalising a consensus candidate.

A source close to the committee revealed that the three experts had suggested a candidate each at the end of the exhausting proceedings on Tuesday.

By the time they re-convened on Wednesday, the race had been reduced to Ravi Shastri, the outgoing team director, and Anil Kumble, the former India captain who has been a surprise entrant in the race for the top job. Eventually, the committee decided to seek the views of India’s Test captain Virat Kohli through a tele-conference.

Besides consulting Kohli, the committee is also likely to take into consideration the views of some of the senior India regulars before firming up its choice.

Kohli’s preference will obviously gain a lot of weightage in the committee’s final recommendation.

It remains to be seen if Kohli prefers the team director with whom he developed a superb rapport over the last 18 months or the legendary leg-spinner who had played a major role in getting his focus back on the game in the Royal Challengers Bangalore change room during the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League.