Indian Team Coach: Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman top candidates as Ravi Shastri likely to step down after T20 World Cup – Team India coach Ravi Shastri has made it all but clear that he is likely to step down from his role after the T20 World Cup next month. The former Indian all-rounder has held the position since 2017 and has overseen some of India’s greatest wins overseas, helping Virat Kohli and Co. reach the inaugural World Test Championship final. Finding a successor will be a hard job for the BCCI, especially considering the rapport between Shastri as the Indian Team coach and Virat Kohli, as captain shared. Nonetheless, the BCCI have drawn up a list of prospective candidates with the likes Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman all being considered.
Here, Insidesport.co takes a look at the top candidates to become the Indian Team coach.
1. Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid is the most desirable candidate to take over from Ravi Shastri with the legendary batsman has done some excellent work in coaching ever since hanging up his boots. Dravid coached the India A and U-19 sides of which many have made it to the senior side, while was the head of the NCA until recently. The 48-year-old was the coach for India’s tour of Sri Lanka in August but has re-applied for the NCA post, which could rule him out of contention. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said the board hasn’t approached the batting legend formally but has kept the doors opened.
2. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble has emerged as a surprise candidate for the Indian team coach considering how his previous stint ended. The fourth highest wicket-taker in Tests was appointed head coach in 2016, but last only for a year after a fall out with captain Virat Kohli, and their relationship was described as untenable. rumours of Kumble returning come after Kohli stepped down as T20I captain, and the former leg-spinner will be an interesting choice should he take over. Kumble took a sabbatical after his role with the Indian team, before serving as head coach of the Punjab Kings for the past two seasons.
3. VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman’s name has also been linked with the job, with the former Indian batsmen considered for the role of the head coach or the batting coach of the team. Laxman had a stellar career in the whites for India, has been serving as the batting consultant of the Bengal Ranji team since 2020. He has been associated with the IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad as their mentor for some time now including in 2016 when they won their first and only league title. He was also part of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) also comprising Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly that was created to assist BCCI in top cricketing matters including the appointment of head coaches.
4. MS Dhoni
A wishful appointment but the former Indian captain could be in the mix when BCCI does take the call. Dhoni has arguably been India’s most influential captain and his record in ICC tournaments as skipper make him a valuable option despite him not having any prior coaching experience. Dhoni can perhaps pick the brains of Ravi Shastri when he joins the current Indian team coach for the T20 World Cup as a mentor of the side.
5. Vikram Rathour
While Rathour did not enjoy a stellar international career as the rest of the names on the list, he certainly lit up the domestic circuit with a truckload of runs during his time with Punjab. Over the years, Rathour has established himself as one of the finest coaches in the country, has also served as the head coach of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the past. He currently serves as the assistant head coach of the Indian team and has previously held the position of batting coach. He was also part of the selection committee between 2012 and 2016.