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Race for Top Job: How Contenders for India Coach Stack Up

(Credit: Twitter)

(Credit: Twitter)

The BCCI have finalized six names who will be interviewed by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for the post of the next Indian men’s senior team coach. The interviews will take place in Mumbai on Friday (August 16) and will include current head coach Ravi Shastri.

The BCCI have finalized six names who will be interviewed by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for the post of the next Indian men’s senior team coach. The interviews will take place in Mumbai on Friday (August 16) and will include current head coach Ravi Shastri.

CricketNext takes a closer look at the six candidates who will vie for the position of head coach…

Tom Moody


The former Australian all-rounder played international cricket between 1987 and 1999 in both Tests and ODIs sporadically. In his 12-year career, Moody turned out in eight Tests and 76 ODIs.

Post-retirement, Moody became the director of cricket in Worcestershire before becoming the Sri Lankan national coach in 2005. He then joined as Western Warriors head coach back in 2007 and took up the position as Kings XI Punjab in the inaugural season of the IPL.

The Warriors managed to reach one final in three season at the KFC T20 Bash before finishing runners-up.

In December 2012, Moody was announced as the head coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was the coach of the Sunrisers from 2013 to 2019, reaching the qualifiers five times over these years and won the IPL title back in 2016.

He has also coach Multan Sultans in Pakistan Super League and the Montreal Tigers in Global T20 Canada this year.

Mike Hesson

The 44-year-old from Dunedin is the former head coach of New Zealand cricket team. Hesson is a popular coach and was instrumental in ushering a positive change in New Zealand cricket before and after the 2015 World Cup. He took over as the Kiwi coach in 2012 from John Wright after a short stint with the Kenyan national team.

He was initially criticized for his role in elevating Brendon McCullum to the national captaincy in place of Ross Taylor but Hesson mended his fences with the veteran Kiwi batsman and Taylor played a major role in the success of Black Caps under him.

Hesson was instrumental in lifting the Black Caps into the 2015 World Cup final, which they lost to eventual champions Australia. He was New Zealand’s longest serving coach and in 2018 was also appointed coach’s representative on the ICC Cricket Committee.

He also served as Kings XI Punjab head coach for one season in IPL-12 before resigning earlier this month.

Phil Simmons

The former West Indies all-rounder played international cricket between 1987 and 1999. He turned out in 26 Tests and 143 ODIs during his 12-year international career.

After retiring in 2002, he was first appointed Zimbabwe coach back in 2004. It was a tumultuous stint with Zimbabwe which ended in 2005 after a disastrous run with a weakened Zimbabwe side.

He then succeeded Adrian Birrell as the head coach of Ireland after the 2007 World Cup. He coached Ireland in 224 games at different levels and was instrumental in bringing them to the brink of Test status.

In March 2015, he accepted an offer to coach to take charge of his native West Indies after the conclusion of the 2015 World Cup. In 2016 he led the West Indies team to a historic second T20 world cup victory in India.

He was the batting coach for Afghanistan national cricket team and later on was appointed as the head coach in 2017. Simmons quit the Afghanistan job under controversial circumstances after the 2019 World Cup.

However, Simmons withdrew due to personal reasons on the day of the interview - Friday (August 16), making it a five horse race.

Robin Singh

The former India all-rounder from Tamil Nadu was born in West Indies. He played in one Test and 136 ODIs in an international career between 1989 and 2001.

He began coaching immediately after his retirement, starting with the India Under-19 team followed by the India ‘A’ which included the likes of Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir.

He was then made the fielding coach of the Indian team between 2007 and 2009 and was appointed as the first head coach of the Deccan Chargers in 2008. He was the fielding coach of the Indian side which won the inaugural ICC World T20 crown in 2007.

He then joined as the Mumbai Indians head coach in 2010 and he is currently the fielding coach of the franchise. He coached the Khulna Division cricket team in the Bangladesh Premier League, where he helped Dwayne Smith and Andre Russell further their cricket skills. In 2012, the Uva cricket team, under Singh’s coaching, won the Sri Lanka Premier League tournament.

He was also the coach of the Barbados Tridents. Since its inception, the Tridents have won once, and have played two finals and a semifinal.

Lalchand Rajput

The veteran Mumbai coach was the team manager of the Indian team which won the 2007 ICC World T20 title under Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The former Mumbai opener started off as the India Under-19 team coach.

Rajput then became head coach of Mumbai Indians in its first season and got his big break when he was named head coach of Afghanistan’s national team, replacing Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq.

During his stint, Afghanistan was promoted to Test status but was replaced by Phil Simmons. In May 2018, he became the head coach of Zimbabwe. In Global T20 Canada this season, Rajput was the coach of victorious Winnipeg Hawks franchise.

Ravi Shastri

He is the incumbent head coach of the Indian team. In an international career between 1981 and 1992, Shastri turned out as all-rounder in 80 Tests and 150 ODIs.

His first tryst with the Indian dressing room post retirement was as Team director with Duncan Fletcher as coach back in 2014.

He was appointed as head coach of the team replacing Anil Kumble in 2017 by the previous CAC. India have won overseas Test series in Australia as well as Sri Lanka with Shastri in charge as coach and team director respectively.

He was replaced as team director after India’s exit from the 2016 World T20 semifinals but skipper Kohli’s differences with Kumble meant Shastri was back at the helm as the coach.