The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar , VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly is set to announce the next head coach of the Indian national team after they conducted interviews for the post today out of Mumbai. Sachin, who was not in the country, joined them over Skype as the BCCI committee reviewed applications from Ravi Shastri, Tom Moody, Virendra Sehwag, Richard Prybus, Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh. Reports suggested that Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody did very well in their respective interviews and Sehwag did okay. The CAC has said it would take a few days to finalise its decision on the appointment, although they were set to announce a name today. The wait, presumably, is for the Indian captain Virat Kohli to return home from the West Indies tour. The applications were invited in two phases, one before the beginning of the Champions Trophy, and the second after the head coach Anil Kumble resigned over differences with the captain Kohli. In a farewell note posted on Twitter, Kumble cited irreconcilable differences with the skipper as his reason to step down. The controversy had stirred a hornet’s nest, and had put Kohli in a spot. However, it is Shastri who is favourite to land the job, given his excellent rapport with the players and especially the captain. The CAC seem to recognise that it is ultimately the captain who will lead the team on the field, and Shastri seems to fit the bill. The Australian Tom Moody is also in the running, and so is former Indian batsman Virendra Sehwag.
The to-be coach would face tough challenges when he takes charge of the Indian dressing room, as tough overseas tours against Australia, England and South Africa are lined up for the year, and the No.1 Test squad would be hard pressed to prove their worth outside home conditions. The buzz is also that the coach’s contract would require him to stay till the end of the 2019 World Cup and the team-building towards the tournament would revolve around him as much as the captain.