Hunt for India’s next head coach: Know the six shortlisted candidates

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The Team India head coach’s role is perhaps the biggest job in the cricketing circuit and when it becomes available, everyone fancies their luck. This time it was no different as well and in the end, out of the reported 200 applications, six have been shortlisted for the high-profile job.

The six candidates are former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, ex-Australia all-rounder and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, former West Indies all-rounder and Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons, ex-India team manager Lalchand Rajput, former India fielding coach Robin Singh and the current head coach Ravi Shastri, who was automatically included in the running.

The candidates shortlisted will now present their cases to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Anshuman Gaekwad, former women’s team captain Shantha Rangaswamy and headed by India’s first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev. Following the interviews, which are likely to be conducted after Independence Day, a final decision will be arrived at by end of this week or early next week.

So, who are these six people and what are their records like in the coaching arena so far? We take a look.

RAVI SHASTRI

Shastri’s inclusion was automatic because as he is the current India head coach and if reports are to be believed, he is leading the race for the job as well.

The former all-rounder’s CV is not trophy-laden when it comes to big tournaments but his achievements are not bad either. During his two-year stint so far, India reached the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017 and the semi-finals of the World Cup earlier this year. The Men in Blue have won the Asia Cup and also their maiden Test series victory Down Under last year.

Team India captain Virat Kohli also backed Shastri before leaving for the tour of West Indies.

“With Ravi Bhai, we share a great camaraderie, and will definitely be very happy if he continues. But I haven’t been contacted so far,” Kohli said.

Since taking over from Anil Kumble, Shastri has helped the team come together well and India are currently the No.1 side in Test cricket and second in ODIs. However, with India’s T20 form not as good and the World Cup coming in a year’s team, their performance in ICC tournaments could be looked at and in case he doesn’t get the job, it could be a major factor.

TOM MOODY

The former Australia all-rounder has developed into a seasoned coach around the world thanks to his coaching stints in T20 competitions around the globe.

Moody boasts an impressive CV in franchise cricket. Under Moody, Sunrisers Hyderabad won the 2016 IPL and he has also served as the coach in the Bangladesh Premier League franchise for Rangpur Riders as well as the Pakistan Super League side Multan Sultans. He also served as the  International Director of Cricket for the Caribbean Premier League in 2014 and as Director of Cricket with the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. Earlier this year, the Australian was named as the coach of the Montreal Tigers team for the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.

Moody’s only international experience as a head coach came with Sri Lanka during when the islanders reached the finals of the 2007 World Cup before losing to Australia in the summit clash.

However, it hasn’t been all rosy for him as he was snubbed in 2017 for the same post by the then CAC comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman and recently sacked as the SRH coach and was replaced by World Cup-winning England coach and former KKR head coach Trevor Bayliss.

MIKE HESSON

Hesson is another interesting candidate but his experience is not as diverse as Moody. Hesson however, has much more international experience in his kitty than his fellow Trans-Tasman rival.

The New Zealander coached the Black Caps for six years and under his guidance, the Kiwis reached the final of the 2015 World Cup before losing to eventual champions Australia. They also reached the semi-finals of the 2016 World Twenty20 in India under him and beat England at home in a Test series in 2018, which lifted them to third on the world rankings.

However, he walked away from the side following that and after a brief commentary stint, Hesson served as the coach for Kings XI Punjab in the 2019 IPL season. But, it didn’t go that well as KXIP finished sixth in the table and following his application for the India head coach’s post, he resigned from the post of the KXIP coach.

The 44-year-old is among the three foreigners in the running for the Team India coach’s post but he is also being looked at as a potential replacement to Mickey Arthur by the Pakistan Cricket Board for the post of the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.

PHIL SIMMONS

India Tv - Phil Simmons was a late entry for the post of the head coach

Image Source : GETTY IMAGESPhil Simmons was a late entry for the post of the head coach

Simmons has a decent coaching in the international arena thanks to his previous stints with Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland Cricket.

The West Indian also served his home country for a brief while and it is under him that the Windies won the 2016 World T20 in India. Following that, he took over as head coach of the Afghanistan national team in 2017. Earlier this year, he was named as the coach of the Brampton Wolves team in the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.

Simmons’s tenure of 224 matches as the coach of Ireland is the record for the longest-serving coach in international cricket. Under him, Ireland improved significantly and beat England, West Indies and Zimbabwe in World Cups.

ROBIN SINGH

India Tv - Robin Singh is currently serving as the batting coach of MI

Image Source : MUMBAI INDIANSRobin Singh is currently serving as the batting coach of MI

Robin was also involved in the coaching staff when India won the World T20 in 2007. He was the fielding coach of the Indian team in 2007.

However, his coaching career started much before that. He coached Hong Kong in 2004 and it is under him they qualified for the Asia Cup in 2004. He also coached India’s U-19 team the same year and India A in 2006. In 2008, after his stint with the Indian team, he was appointed the head coach of the Deccan Chargers franchise in 2008 in the IPL and was still the fielding coach of the Indian national team.

Singh is currently serving as the batting coach of the Mumbai Indians, who he also served as the head coach in 2010 and won the title in 2013 — Mumbai’s first of four IPL victories.

His other coaching stints are with the Khulna Division cricket team in the Bangladesh Premier League, Uva cricket team Sri Lanka Premier League tournament, which they won in 2012, Barbados Tridents, who have won once, and have played two finals and a semis since the inception of CPL and the Karaikudi Kaalai, in the Tamil Nadu Premier League in 2016 and 2017.

He also coached Kerala Kings (2017) and Northern Warriors (2018) in the T10 league.

LALCHAND RAJPUT

India Tv - Lalchand Rajput has worked with India previously as the team manager

Image Source : PTILalchand Rajput has worked with India previously as the team manager

Rajput was the manager of the Indian team when they won the inaugural edition of the World T20 in 2007 and has served as the coach of Mumbai Indians in the IPL in 2008.

He also coached Afghanistan and it is under him when they defeated West Indies in an ODI at Gros Islet. It was under Rajput’s guidance when the Afghans were granted Full Membership of the International Cricket Council. After his contract ended in 2017, he took over as the interim coach of Zimbabwe and was soon made permanent in 2018.

Currently, he is the coach of the Winnipeg Hawks franchise team in the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.