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BCCI may approach Kumble, Laxman for Shastri’s post

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NEW DELHI/LONDON, Sep 18: Life may come to a full circle for Anil Kumble as the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI might ask him to apply for the post of head coach of the Indian team along with VVS Laxman once Ravi Shastri finishes his term after the T20 World Cup.
Kumble was the coach of the Indian team for a year between 2016-17 when the Cricket Advisory Committee headed by Sachin Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly had appointed him, replacing Shastri.
However, a bitter fall-out with captain Virat Kohli led to Kumble tendering his resignation after the Champions Trophy final defeat against Pakistan.
Along with Kumble, the board may also approach Laxman, who has been a mentor of the IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad for some years now.
However, Kumble will be favourite even as Laxman will also remain in contention.
“Anil Kumble’s exit needs course correction. The manner in which the CoA succumbed to the pressure of Kohli and removed him, wasn’t the best example set. However, it also depends on whether Kumble or Laxman are ready to apply for the job,” a senior BCCI source privy to development told on conditions of anonymity.
Kohli has already announced that he will quit as T20 captain after the World Cup.
For the BCCI brass, a reputed Indian coach is always the first choice and both Kumble and Laxman with their stature in Indian cricket with 100 plus Test matches along with coaching experience fit the bill perfectly.
A foreign coach is the second option.
“The criteria for BCCI’s coach’s job will be such that only a select few with very good record as player as well as experience of coaching/mentorship can apply for the top job,” the source said.
Asked if Vikram Rathour is in contention, the official said, “He can apply if he wishes to but he doesn’t have the stature to become a head coach of the Indian cricket team.”
“He is at best an assistant coach. However, when we select the new coach, he will have a team all by himself. So let’s wait and watch,” the source concluded.
Never overstay your welcome: Shastri
His tenure set to end after next month’s T20 World Cup, Shastri conceded that there would be a bit of “sadness” but he has no doubts that he is going out at the right time, having “over-achieved” during his stint.
Shastri’s first stint as head coach began in 2017 before he was reappointed in 2019.
The 59-year-old is currently in quarantine here after testing positive for COVID-19.
Speaking to ‘The Guardian’, Shastri said to win the T20 World Cup would be special but the team has already done special things in his time.
“I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted. Five years as No.1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England,” said the former player.
India were leading 2-1 against England when the fifth and final Test in Manchester was called off after a COVID-19 outbreak in the touring camp.
During Shastri’s tenure, India also recorded T20 series wins in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and England.
“I believe one thing – never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved,” the flamboyant coach added.
Shastri said he would love to sign off with an ICC trophy, which the team has not lifted during the Shastri-Virat Kohli phase. (PTI)

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