Anil Kumble likely to pip Ravi Shastri to be India’s head coach

Anil Kumble; image credit: BCCI

Mumbai: Till the day India’s highest wicket-taker Anil Kumble with 619 Test and 337 ODI scalps wasn’t in the race, another former India captain Ravi Shastri was tipped to be India’s head coach, but not anymore.

The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, is learnt to have made their preference for the next India coach’s post clear, and that is Kumble. The only contention that has made the trio wait till Friday is current to announce the same is Test skipper Virat Kohli.

“Virat is very much in favour of Shastri as he enjoys a good chemistry with the former India all-rounder…Now if Virat votes in favour of Kumble, the spinner will have no hurdle and will announced the coach on June 24,” a source in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told SportsCrunch on Wednesday.

The CAC members are expected to discuss the appointment of Kumble with Kohli and that’s why the decision has been kept on hold till then. Kohli, it is learnt, will have the last say on the matter and Ganguly, Laxman and Tendulkar have to convince him if the leggie has to be appointed the coach.

However, it is also learnt that Shastri’s stance of sticking with the support staff — Bharat Arun, Sanjay Bangar — wasn’t to the liking of the CAC members and that has apparently pushed the former all-rounder to the second spot with Kumble making an impressive powerpoint presentation in the interview conducted in Kolkata on Tuesday. Kumble is believed to have also given the roadmap for the Indian team.

In all probability, Kumble would like to have retired left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan as the bowling mentor, while Shastri may be offered the job of batting consultant. It’s not clear whether Shastri would agree to be appointed as batting consultant with Kumble being at the helm.

The 45-year-old leg-spinner, who was appointed as the ICC cricket committee chairman only last month, will have to relinquish the ICC post in case he takes up the most coveted job in the world of cricket.

Now, barring something dramatic in the next 48 hours, Kumble, who enjoys a massive lead over his nearest rival Shastri for the post, is likely to get the hot seat. So, let’s wait till then.

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