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India after Kumble: 5 contenders who have applied to be next head coach

Virender Sehwag is considered to be the frontrunner

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Anil Kumble, Virat Kohi
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli along with team coach Anil Kumble during a practice session in Dharamshala. Kumble has decided to step down as head coach of Indian cricket team. File Photo: PTI

So, it’s official now. After weeks of shadowy reports about rifts between and Anil Kumble, the cat is finally out of the bag. On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in announced that the former spinner was stepping down from the post, despite BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee endorsing an extension to his tenure.

The resignation comes after weeks of speculation of a rift between him and Kohli where supposedly the two did not get along. The BCCI invited applications for the post in May, calling it due process, amidst reports that former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was among the frontrunners for the job.

Who’s likely to be in the hot seat after Kumble? Here are the five who applied:

Virender Sehwag

Image credit: Rahul Gulati/Sportzpics/IPL
Image credit: Rahul Gulati/Sportzpics/IPL

One of India’s greatest ever opening batsmen, who has now metamorphosed into a Twitter celebrity in his own right, could well become the team’s next coach. Virender Sehwag is considered to be one of the frontrunners for the post, having been asked by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to apply for the job during the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League. Reports suggested he sent a two-line application letter to the BCCI which he later rejected.

What works for him: Sehwag isn’t a complete stranger to coaching. He was a mentor to Kings XI Punjab in 2016 and became the franchisee’s head of cricket operations and strategy in 2017. His laidback attitude may also help him get along better with Kohli and his troops who reportedly did not like Kumble’s “taskmaster” attitude.

What doesn’t: Sehwag’s flamboyant, easy-going ways may have made him a fantastic batsman but it will not necessarily make him a great coach. As he admitted through his career, he never gave much emphasis on technique or tactics, which may not work well when it comes to coaching a high-profile national cricket team.

Tom Moody

Image credit: Vipin Pawar/IPL/Sportzpics
Image credit: Vipin Pawar/IPL/Sportzpics

A former Australian cricketer who has made a successful transition to the rigours of coaching, Tom Moody lost out in the race to be Indian coach two times earlier, once to in 2005 and to in 2016. He took Sri Lanka to the final of the 2007 World Cup and Sunrisers Hyderabad to the 2016 IPL title.

What works for him: Moody has solid coaching experience with stints at Worcestershire, Sri Lanka, Western Australia, Sunrisers Hyderabad and in the Caribbean Premier League

What doesn’t: After the fiasco and now the one, will the BCCI be comfortable handing over the reins to another high-profile former

Richard Pybus

Image credit: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP
Image credit: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

An experienced coach who has been around for a long time. Pybus has coached twice, taking them to the World Cup final in 1999. He has also had successful stints at the franchise level in South Africa where he coached the Cape Cobras to three titles and won the Cricket South Africa “Coach of the Year” award in 2011. He has worked with English county side Middlesex as well and was director of cricket for West Indies for a three-year period from 2013 onward.

What works for him: Solid experience as a coach in conditions as varied as England, West Indies, South Africa, and He has a reputation for being low-profile which may go well with someone as combustible as

What doesn’t: Pybus has a history of instability. Apart from his unceremonious departures from Pakistan, he quit as coach of Middlesex in 2007, just five months into the job. He also left the job in 2012 because of differences in the contract.

Lalchand Rajput

Sachin Tendulkar has a laugh with India's then assistant coach Lalchand Rajput in 2008. (Image credit: Will Burgess/Reuters)
Sachin Tendulkar has a laugh with India's then assistant coach Lalchand Rajput in 2008. (Image credit: Will Burgess/Reuters)

A former first-class stalwart for Mumbai, Lalchand Rajput shot into the limelight for being the manager of the young Indian team that won the inaugural in 2007. Rajput has coached the Under-19 and “A” teams and has coaching experience with the Indians in the IPL. Rajput was in the fray last year to be coach but took over Afghanistan’s reins in June 2016.

What works for him: His familiarity with players and an under-stated approach.

What doesn’t: Compared to some of the others in this list, he does not have a track record of sustained success as a coach.

Dodda Ganesh

Dodda Ganesh (right) avoids a run-out while playing for India against South Africa in 1997. (Image credit: Anna Ziemeniski/AFP)
Dodda Ganesh (right) avoids a run-out while playing for against South Africa in 1997. (Image credit: Anna Ziemeniski/AFP)

Dodda Ganesh played only four Tests and a single One-Day International for in 1997 but remained an impressive fast bowler for Karnataka on the domestic circuit. He coached Goa for four years from 2012 to 2016 and has had stints with junior-level teams in the National Cricket Academy. Ganesh has also been a state selector for the Karnataka Ranji team.

What works for him: He is understated and is not likely to have any ego clashes with members of the Indian team. He also has coaching experience with junior teams.

What doesn’t: A lack of high-profile, senior-level coaching experience.


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First Published: Wed, June 21 2017. 11:40 IST
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