As captain Virat Kohil is entitled to his opinion but Shantha Rangaswamy on Thursday said the next India head coach will be picked based only on the collective opinion of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee, which she is a part of, PTI reported.

The other CAC members are Kapil Dev and Anshuman Gaekwad. The same panel had also picked the India women’s coach in December. Ahead of the team’s departure to the United States, Kohli had said that he would be very happy is incumbent Ravi Shastri continues following the West Indies tour.

“Virat is the captain and he is entitled to his opinion but it will be the collective opinion of the three of us which will determine who the the next head coach is,” former India captain Rangaswamy was quoted as saying.

“I read some media reports and I endorse Anshuman’s view on the matter. We need to look at all aspects – his experience, the ability to bring the team together and how a good a strategist one is,” she said.

Gaekwad said that the CAC is neutral and goes into the process with an open mind. “The totality of that will be considered and individuals don’t matter, it is the collective opinion which will weigh in determining who the head coach is,” she added.

With Kohli’s public backing, Shastri has emerged as the favourite for the job. The others who are in the race are Australian Tom Moody and former India internationals Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh.

The application deadline ended on Tuesday and the CAC is expected to conduct interviews of the shortlisted candidates mid August.

While Kohli expressing his preference when the selection process is on has been questioned by some, a few others including Sourav Ganguly feel that the Indian captain has every right to voice his opinion.

‘We have to respect Kohli’s opinion,’ says Kapil

World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, head of the three-member CAC that will appoint the next head coach agreed with his colleague Rangaswamy that skipper Virat Kohli’s opinion “needs to be respected”.

The World Cup winning former skipper however assured that his panel will do their job to the best of their ability. Kohli during his pre-departure press conference didn’t hide that he would love to see current head coach Ravi Shastri get another term.

“That’s his [Kohli] opinion we have to respect everybody’s opinion,” Kapil told reporters before receiving the Bharat Gaurav, East Bengal’s highest honour during their foundation day celebrations at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Before leaving for the West Indies tour, the Indian skipper has already made it clear that they share a great camaraderie with incumbent coach Ravi Shastri as he backed him to continue till the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup.

This time the CAC comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy will select the head coach with application deadline already ending on Tuesday. The incumbent Shastri gets an automatic entry in the selection process.

Before the CAC meets to interview the applicants there are also reports that Shastri is set for an extension as all eyes would be on the Kapil Dev-led committee. “It’s not tough. You just do your job to the best of your ability,” he said.