Former cricketers Tom Moody and Virender Sehwag are the favourites to be India’s next head coach, according to a report in the Times of India. Current incumbent Anil Kumble is no longer a frontrunner for the job, the report quoted an unnamed Board of Control for Cricket in India official as saying.
The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising former India cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, is currently in London to meet the candidates, which include Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh.
Kumble, who has been given a direct entry and did not need to re-apply, submitted a detailed presentation of his plans for the next two years leading up to the 2019 World Cup. However, he “may not be the favourite,” the report quoted an official as saying.
“The way this is going, it’ll have to be between Viru [Sehwag] and Moody, depending on how the advisory committee goes about it,” the official said. The CAC is, however, wary of the fact that it will have to come up with adequate reasons to not pick Kumble considering his stellar record over the last year, the report added. India won five Test series – one away and four at home – under the former India leg-spinner.
“Yes, there’s no doubt that India did well at home but this [coach selection] is not necessarily going to be viewed from that prism alone,” an official tracking the developments was quoted as saying. “A lot of factors have to be taken into account. But the biggest question is whether [India captain] Virat [Kohli] and Anil are comfortable working with each other.”
Kohli has denied reports of a rift between himself and Kumble. A day before India’s opening match of the Champions Trophy, against arch rivals Pakistan, Kohli had said “there are no problems whatsoever” between him and Kumble, as was reported in the media.
The BCCI official quoted in the TOI report, however, said that there are issues between Kohli and Kumble but it “snowballed” into something bigger. “It was never so big or serious that a chat couldn’t resolve,” the official said.