India’s next coach: Moody, Simmons, Hesson in shortlist of six with Shastri

Cricket

The next head coach of the senior India men’s team is expected to be chosen on Friday from a shortlist of six: the incumbent, Ravi Shastri, as well as Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, headed by Kapil Dev, will convene in Mumbai to conduct the interviews before making their decision.

The three overseas coaches are likely to join the committee members over video conference, while Rajput and Robin, team manager and fielding coach during India’s 2007 World T20 win, are likely to be present in Mumbai for the interviews. Besides Kapil, the CAC comprises Anshuman Gaekwad, the former India opener and coach, and Shantha Rangaswamy, the former India women’s team captain.

Confirming the updates, a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India, “These six will give presentation for head coach before CAC. It has been learnt that these six have been short-listed for interview with the CAC.”

While the names of Moody, who has rich coaching pedigree in international cricket [Sri Lanka] as well as in the franchise circuit [Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, for example], and Hesson, formerly head coach with New Zealand and Kings XI, have been doing the rounds, Simmons is seen as a late entrant.

The former West Indies opener was until June the head coach of Afghanistan. In the past, he has also had stints with West Indies, with whom he won the World T20 title in 2016, and, most notably, Ireland. Hesson, meanwhile, served as head coach of New Zealand for six years, the highlights being their memorable run to the 2015 World Cup final and a home Test series win over England in 2018. He has also been linked with the Bangladesh men’s team, who are without a coach since letting go of Steve Rhodes after the World Cup.

There have been suggestions from the BCCI that Shastri is most likely to continue, something that has the backing of India captain Virat Kohli, who publicly expressed his support for Shastri at a press conference before flying out for the tour of the USA and the Caribbean late last month.

“With Ravi bhai, all of us have a great camaraderie, everyone in the team shares mutual respect [with him]. And we have done really well together as a group,” Kohli had said at the time. “Yeah, we will definitely be very happy if he is continuing as a coach, but as I said it is upon the CAC to seek my advice or opinion if they want. Right now, I haven’t been contacted at all. And I don’t know what is going to happen with the process.”

Shastri and the rest of his support staff – Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), B Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) – are automatic entrants into the process. All of them are on an extended 45-day contract that will come to an end following the two-Test series in the Caribbean.

While Arun has been favoured, like Shastri, to retain his job, Sridhar could be up against Jonty Rhodes for the fielding coach’s position. Meanwhile, Bangar’s position as batting coach will be challenged by the candidatures of Pravin Amre, Vikram Rathour and J Arun Kumar.All three have been associated with coaching at the domestic and IPL level.

Amre is presently batting coach of Delhi Capitals, while Rathour, who served as member of the selection committee until 2016, and Arun are with Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry respectively.The support staff is likely to be picked by MSK Prasad, the men’s selection committee chairman.

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