India Coach Selection: A Look at Ravi Shastri’s Five Competitors
Apart from Ravi Shastri, the shortlisted candidates are Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh.
Apart from Ravi Shastri, the shortlisted candidates are Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh.(Photo: The Quint)

India Coach Selection: A Look at Ravi Shastri’s Five Competitors

After filtering the list of applicants who have applied for the post of the head coach for the Indian men’s cricket team, BCCI has shortlisted six candidates.

Apart from current coach Ravi Shastri, who has scored an automatic entry into the selection process, the shortlisted candidates include Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh.

Shastri, who has the backing of Team India skipper Virat Kohli, leads the race to retain his position when the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Kapil Dev, Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad begin the interview process.

All the six candidates have a considerable amount of international experience and tasted success in various forms as far as coaching is concerned.

Here’s a look at the five other candidates in the list and their coaching credentials:

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Tom Moody

(Photo Courtesy: BCCI/IPL)

It has become like a ritual for Australian Tom Moody to apply for the post of Team India’s coach and eventually get rejected. Till date he has applied for it three times – 2005, 2008 and 2017 – but without any luck.

Moody has had an illustrious coaching career spanning over a decade – both in international as well as franchisee cricket. The two-time World Cup-winner had a memorable stint with the Sri Lankan national team, where he guided them to the World Cup final in 2007 in West Indies.

A familiar face in the global T20 circuit, the former Australian cricketer has coached teams in T20 leagues in six different countries and has an enviable record.

In the Indian Premier League, Moody started his coaching career with the Kings XI Punjab. In 2012, he moved to the Sunrisers Hyderabad and has been with them till date. In the process, Hyderabad have reached the qualifier rounds five times and won the championship in 2016.

Apart from the IPL sides, Moody has coached the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League and Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League. In the ongoing Global T20 league in Canada, the Australian is part of the Montreal Tigers.

Moody, who has played 8 Tests and 76 ODIs, has also managed Western Australia and English County team Worcestershire at the domestic level, apart from being the director of cricket in the Caribbean Premier League.

Mike Hesson

(Photo: IANS)

The youngest in the list, Hesson has never played for New Zealand but has an impressive track record as far as coaching is concerned.

Starting his coaching stint at the age of 22, Hesson has coached the Argentine and the Kenyan team before taking charge of Otago in New Zealand’s domestic circuit.

Hesson’s biggest break came in July 2012, when he was asked to coach the New Zealand national team.

His achievements in the six-year-long stint, included taking New Zealand to the final of the 2015 World Cup in Australia. This was followed by a semi-final finish at the T20 World Cup in India. In the Test circuit also, the Black Caps reached great heights under Hesson, moving to number three in the rankings.

By the time he finished in 2018, he was not only New Zealand's longest serving cricket coach but also one of the most successful ones.

As far as coaching in India is concerned, in the last edition of the IPL, he served as the head coach of Kings XI Punjab. He resigned from his post on 8 August 2019 to apply for the India job as well as the head coach job of Pakistan.

Phil Simmons

(Photo: Reuters)

A veteran of 26 Tests and 143 ODIs, West Indian Phil Simmons had applied for the India job in 2017 as well.

After finishing his career as a cricketer in 2002, Simmons took over the coach’s mantle in 2004 and his first appointment was as the head coach of the Zimbabwe cricket team.

After a controversial stint with the African nation, Simmons was appointed as the coach of the Ireland cricket team. Under him, Ireland won 11 trophies, and qualified for every major ICC event.

During his tenure, Ireland went on to beat Pakistan and Bangladesh at the 2007 World Cup. In 2011, the Irish side shocked the English cricket team. Continuing their impressive run, Ireland got the better off Simmon’s West Indies and later Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup.

Simmon also went on to coach West Indies and in the process helped them to win their second World T20 title in India in 2016.

The 56-year-old became the coach of Afghanistan in December 2017 and helped them qualify for the 2019 World Cup. Currently, Simmon is with the Brampton Wolves franchise team for the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.

Lalchand Rajput

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ZimCricketv)
The highest point in Lalchand Rajput’s coaching career till date will be that he was the coach cum manager of the Indian team which won the inaugural World T20 in 2007 in South Africa.

Starting his career as a manager, Rajput’s first full-time assignment as coach was with the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008. After an unsuccessful season which saw them finish fifth on the points table, Rajput never returned to reprise his role.

After eight years, Rajput landed his second coaching job as the head of coach of Afghanistan in 2016. He replaced Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq. It was under him that Afghanistan was given the Test status. Interestingly, he was replaced by Phil Simmons in 2017.

Last year in May, he was named as the interim head coach of the Zimbabwe. Few months later in August, he was appointed as coach on a permanent basis.

Currently, he is the coach of the Winnipeg Hawks franchise team for the 2019 Global T20 Canada tournament.

Robin Singh

(Photo Courtesy: BCCI)

Robin Singh was part of Indian team’s support staff as their fielding coach from 2007 to 2009. He was part of the set up when MS Dhoni and Co won the World T20 in 2007.

His highly successful tenure with the India-U19 and India A side saw him land the job with the senior side after the 50-over World Cup debacle in 2007.

Singh has also been in charge of the Hong Kong team in 2004 and coached the USA Under-19 and women’s cricket team in the past.

He might lack the experience of heading a high-profile international side but like Tom Moody, Singh has a gamut of experiences as far as T20 leagues are concerned. In the IPL, he was the head coach of the now defunct Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the competition.

But after an unsuccessful stint which saw them finish at the bottom of the table, Singh joined Mumbai Indians as their head coach in 2010. He is still associated with the team as their batting coach and has won 4 IPL trophies with them.

Apart from Mumbai Indians, Singh has been on the coaching team of the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League. He has also been a part of Hong Kong T20 Blitz, Tamil Nadu Premier League, and T10 League.

Singh also coached the Khulna Division cricket team in the Bangladesh Premier League, and in 2012, the Uva cricket team, under Singh's coaching, won the only edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League tournament.

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