The race for India’s head coach has reached its climax with Anil Kumble having his nose ahead of Ravi Shastri in what could prove to be a thrilling two-horse battle in the home stretch. BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee that comprises stalwarts like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman interviewed about a dozen candidates in Kolkata on Tuesday. The committee’s choice will be a closely guarded secret for at least two days as the big announcement is only for board president Anurag Thakur to be made public during BCCI’s working committee meeting scheduled for June 24.
However, according to reports CAC has already zeroed in on a name for the top post in Indian cricket. While Ganguly did not divulge any details, he said, "We are not interviewing anymore candidates. "The process as Ganguly said ended on Tuesday. "We have interviewed around 10 candidates and each of them have made their presentations. We are expected to finalise our choice by today (Tuesday) and will submit our report to the BCCI secretary," Ganguly added.
Shastri, who worked as Team Director between August 2014 and March 2016 and believed to have the backing of Test captain Virat Kohli, was the frontrunner for the coveted post initially, but the last minute entry of Kumble made it an exciting heavyweight contest. While Kumble made a presentation reportedly chalking out his plans for the 2019 World Cup and to make India a No.1 Test side, Shastri interacted with the committee via video conferencing.
Former India opener Pravin Amre, Lalchand Rajput, Australians Stuart Law, Tom Moody and Englishman Andy Moles were among others who made their presentations on Tuesday. Surprisingly, selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil, who had also thrown his hat into the ring, wasn’t called for the interview. If Shastri is picked for the top job, it will have a bearing on M.S. Dhoni’s future as India’s limited overs skipper.
Meanwhile, Ganguly said that he will not “mess up” as he did once when he recommended Australian Greg Chappell’s name in 2005. Ganguly hoped that the Cricket Advisory Committee will do it correctly. “I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005 (during Chappell’s recruitment). “I have been given that opportunity again. I had taken an interview (of Chappell) once and it did not go off well,” Ganguly was quoted as saying.