CHENNAI: Suspense over the next head coach of Team India is increasing. The cricket advisory committee (CAC), which interviewed candidates on Tuesday, met again on Wednesday, and it is reliably learnt that BCCI is now waiting to hear from Test captain Virat Kohli on his choice between Ravi Shastri and Anil Kumble.
After Tuesday’s proceedings, most signs were directed towards Kumble being the front-runner for the post. Shastri, who had been team director until his tenure ended on March 31, appeared a distant second. But all that has changed if one goes by what sources in the BCCI reveal. It is understood that the panel seems to be in no mood to rush and will now reveal their choice to the BCCI only on Friday morning.
Sources revealed that Kohli had a lengthy talk with Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, and the trio seem to have briefed him on what Kumble and Shastri bring to the table. Whether Kohli batted for someone before the panel couldn’t be confirmed. With BCCI set to name the coach on Friday at its working committee meet in Dharamsala, Thakur and board secretary Ajay Shirke are set to hold discussions with Kohli before taking the final call.
If it is left to Kohli, then one may have a fair idea of who he will back if it comes to the two. That the 27-year-old enjoys an excellent rapport with Shastri is a well known story, and it was under him that Kohli overcame a minor dip in form, and has since become an all-format player.
“Nobody told the panel to seek the input of players before taking a decision. The board had given them a free hand in picking a candidate, and in the process, if they spoke to Kohli then there is nothing wrong in it. But that doesn’t mean the panel asked him to pick his choice. It was a routine consultation process. After the panel forwards a name, we will consult with Kohli before taking a decision, because even in the past, the BCCI has always taken player inputs with regards to appointing a coach, and there is no wrong in it,” a highly placed source said.
Kohli is likely to reveal his choice to the BCCI by Thursday. But the panel’s choice seems to be firmly with Kumble and why they have sought more time isn’t clear at the moment, though the BCCI said it was because they are looking at finer details.