Former national selector Vikram Rathour has applied for India’s batting coach job, spicing up the race for the coveted post. Recently, his candidature was rejected for batting coach role with U-19 team and the National Cricket Academy.

Rathour’s application for coaching the Under-19 team and NCA’s batting consultant was rejected due to conflict of interest; he is related to Ashish Kapoor, who is head of the junior selection panel.

“Rathour was advised by a senior member of the Cricket Operations team that he is conflicted due to Ashish Kapoor’s presence in junior selection panel. However applying for senior team’s batting coach position doesn’t fall under the conflict of interest purview,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by PTI.

There is a strong possibility that Rathour could replace under-fire Sanjay Bangar though there are strong candidates, such as Pravin Amre, in the race.

Bangar was criticised for holding MS Dhoni back to number seven in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, though, he has maintained that it was not his decision alone.

He is still with the Indian team as the BCCI extended his and other support staff members’ contract till the West Indies tour. Head Coach Ravi Shastri is also standing on a sticky wicket despite having the backing of captain Virat Kohli.

The Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, former batsman and coach Anshuman Gaekwad and former women’s cricket captain Shanta Rangaswamy, will conduct interviews to pick the new support staff. Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody is expected to give Shastri tough competition.

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, former India all-rounder and fielding coach Robin Singh apart from former Indian team manager and present Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput are in the race. South African Jonty Rhodes will be favourite for the fielding coach job.