Will India dump Shastri? Moody among challengers for coaching job

India coach Ravi Shastri looks on during the rain delay at the ICC Cricket World Cup semi final match between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain July 9, 2019. — Action Images via Reuters
India coach Ravi Shastri looks on during the rain delay at the ICC Cricket World Cup semi final match between India and New Zealand at Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain July 9, 2019. — Action Images via Reuters

NEW DELHI, July 31 — India’s hunt for a new coach has attracted top international names, including Australian Tom Moody, despite skipper Virat Kohli backing Ravi Shastri to get a new deal, reports said today.

The deadline for applications ended yesterday as the Indian side set off for a tour of the West Indies with pressure mounting on Shastri after the team were upset by New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final.

According to media reports, Moody, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, Sri Lanka stalwart Mahela Jayawardene, ex-India player Robin Singh and former India manager and current Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput are all in contention with Shastri.

It was also widely reported that former Test player Pravin Amre applied for a batting coach post, while South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes is eyeing the fielding position.

While Shastri remains favourite and has an automatic entry in the process, Singh told The Hindu newspaper that after losing in the semi-finals in two straight World Cups and the world T20 championship “a change could be good for the side”.

Shastri’s contract ended with the World Cup but he and his support staff have been given a 45-day extension for the West Indies tour that starts Saturday.

The post will be picked by the national board’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev, former head coach Anshuman Gaekwad and ex-women’s team captain Shantha Rangaswamy.

Kohli had made his choice clear before leaving for the West Indies, saying the team has a “great camaraderie” with the former India all-rounder and will be “happy” if he continues.

The 57-year-old Shastri will be in the West Indies when interviews are conducted and he will speak with the advisory committee by video call.

Shastri, who was India team director from August 2014 to April 2016, succeeded former spinner Anil Kumble as coach after in 2017.

Kumble stepped down after a year in charge, citing his “untenable” relationship with Kohli. — AFP

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