CHENNAI: There are just two more days to go for candidates to apply for the post of Team India’s head coach. As of Wednesday evening, former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie was the sole prominent foreigner to have applied for the job.
Former Australia all-rounder Stuart Law has also shown interest and one understands that Tom Moody, who recently guided Sunrisers Hyderabad to the IPL title, will also throw his hat in the ring.
On Wednesday, former India cricketer Venkatesh Prasad also applied for the job and has even expressed his desire to be the bowling coach, a role he has performed in the past. Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastria, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput are among Indians to have applied for the post.
Gillespie, who is currently in charge of English county side Yorkshire, seems to have sent a presentation model, like Shastri has.
The 41-year-old, who has 259 wickets to his name in 71 Tests, is one of the highly-sought coaches in the international arena and was even in contention to take over from Peter Moores as England coach before losing it to compatriot Trevor Bayliss last year. Gillespie has had a stellar campaign at Yorkshire, guiding them to two County Championships apart from overseeing the development of a core group that has produced internationals like Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett.
Sources in the BCCI revealed that Gillespie has sent a detailed document on what he wants to achieve with the Indian team, if selected. One of the highlights is ensuring better co-ordination between the national team and the A side. Recently, there were indications from Australia coach Darren Lehmann that Gillespie might join him as bowling coach as a replacement for Craig McDermott.
But on May 31, Gillespie revealed that he was not interested in international assignments because of hectic travel and his contract with Big Bash side Adelaide Strikers. “Gillespie has sent a detailed list of what he wants to do. He has had great success in recent times. In many ways, he is a modern-day coach capable of handling all three formats of the game. We are actually surprised that not many foreigners have applied. With a couple of days to go, one or two more names might come in. But from whoever we spoke to in the past, we gather that most high-profile names have reservations about against being associated with a national team for 10 months. In shorter T20 leagues, you earn a lot more,” an insider told Express.
Meanwhile, Bharathi Arun and R Sridhar have not applied for the posts of bowling and fielding coach, as one understands that if Shastri gets to continue, he would prefer the same support staff that was in charge until the World T20 in March. “Shastri has made it clear that he wants to retain the same support staff if he gets picked and he has mentioned it in his application. Anyway, the BCCI was going to give head coach the support staff of his choice. Although the final say will be with the board,” the official said.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu