Mumbai, August 19
Ignored for the head coach’s position, Lalchand Rajput was among the aspirants appearing for interviews today to pick the support staff for the Indian cricket team, joining heavyweights such as Venkatesh Prasad.
As many as 13 candidates were interviewed for the batting coach role and five for that of bowling coach. The incumbents — batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar — will be interviewed tomorrow. The 57-year-old Rajput entering the fray means competition for the batting coach’s position could only get tougher with former Test opener Vikram Rathour already emerging as a strong contender to replace Bangar. Arun and Sridhar are favourites to retain their posts after head coach Ravi Shastri stressed on retaining the staff.
However, Bangar still faces a tough challenge as the highest number of applications has been made for the batting coach’s post. The former India all-rounder has been with the team since 2014 during which India have played 50 Tests and 119 ODIs. The process is expected to be completed by Thursday after all the interviews for various positions including batting, bowling and fielding coach are done with.
The current support staff comprising Bangar, Arun and Sridhar and administrative manager Sunil Subramanium were given a 45-day contract extension covering the ongoing tour of the West Indies. Also eyeing the batting coach’s job are Pravin Amre, Mumbai stalwart Amol Muzumdar and Saurashtra’s batting bulwark Sitanshu Kotak. It was learnt that former India batsman Hrishikesh Kanitkar and former Delhi batsman Mithun Manhas were also interviewed by the five-member panel. For the position of bowling coach, former India pacers Prasad, Paras Mhambrey and Amit Bhandari appeared for the interview.
Last week, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaikwad and Shantha Rangaswamy had reappointed Shastri as the team’s coach till the end of T20 World Cup in 2021.
As per the criteria for batting, bowling and fielding coaches, an applicant should have played at least 10 Tests or 25 ODIs and be less than 60 years of age. — PTI
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