10 July, Mumbai
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday decided to postpone the selection of a new coach for the national team by a few days.
Lalchand Rajput, Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody were the candidates who were interviewed on Monday by the three-member CAC which includes former India captain Sourav Ganguly, former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar — who took part in the proceedings via skype as he is currently in London.
Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons is also a candidate but is yet to be interviewed.
“What we have decided is we will hold on for the time being for the announcement of the coach. We need a few more days and talk to a few more people, especially the captain and then make an announcement because we feel that there is no hurry at the moment,” Ganguly told the media after the interviews.
The CAC members also said that India team captain Virat Kohli will be consulted before a new coach — who will stay till the 2019 ODI World Cup — is appointed.
“We have a Sri Lanka tour coming in a week’s time and the board will continue with the same set (of people) for the time being. We want to speak to Kohli when he returns from America. We will explain to him that the coaches want to function in a certain way and make sure that everybody is on the same page before we make the announcement,” Ganguly said.
“Once we make the announcement, the new coach will stay till the World Cup. To be honest, what we heard from the coaches today is not different from last year.
“They were outstanding, specially some of the names we discussed. We were pleasantly surprised and happy when we heard how they want to go about the job,” the former India captain added.
Shastri is considered to be one of the favourites for the job since he enjoys good relations with Kohli. The former India all-rounder had delivered results during his previous stint with the Indian team, a factor which may also work in his favour.
The Indian team, especially skipper Virat Kohli, has been at the centre of a controversy after Anil Kumble resigned as coach following a humiliating 180-run loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on June 18.
Kumble had hinted at differences with Kohli in his resignation letter to the BCCI. There have also been reports that several players were unhappy with Kumble’s strict disciplinarian approach.
Some players were also reportedly unhappy after Kumble handed a harsh dressing down to the team following the defeat in the Champions Trophy final.
Ganguly, however, made it clear that the CAC is aiming to appoint a coach who will be able to guide the team over a long period of time and will gel well with Kohli and other members of the Indian team.
“We are in no hurry. We are not looking at only the Sri Lanka tour because that will be a long affair. What is important for us is we are not going to play. It is the coach, the players and the captain. We are a part of that.
“I thought the presentations were outstanding. Exactly what coaches would want to do in the system because we have played the game and we have played under different coaches. They have all their different ways of operation but the crux of the matter does not change,” Ganguly said.
“That is why we feel Virat, who we respect so much, is an important cog of the system. I was captain, Laxman was probably the best in the world. So we understand where it goes. We will take a call which is the best way forward for the team and the boys because ultimately they are going to play and they going to give results,” he added.