Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited applications vying for the coveted position of head coach for the men’s national cricket team. 

The development comes as current head coach Rahul Dravid’s tenure is poised to conclude after the T20 World Cup 2024. Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming, Delhi Capital coach Ricky Ponting, Australian coach Justin Langer, KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir and NCA head coach VVS Laxman are in the race for the top job.

Let’s have a look at some of the candidates who could bag the challenging job as the head coach of the Indian team…

Ricky Ponting: The former Australia captain has prior coaching experience with Mumbai Indians. He had aided them to win an IPL title in 2015. He has also coaching stint with Delhi Capitals since 2018. With his extensive involvement in Indian cricket, Ponting emerges as a strong contender for the role.

Stephen Fleming: BCCI has also approached former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming as the head coach of the Indian team. He has a brilliant coaching stint with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as under him the Yellow Brigade have won five IPL titles. However, response from his side is reportedly lukewarm, given the demanding commitment required, spanning about 10 months annually.

Notably, if Fleming or Ponting will be appointed as India’s head coach, they must end their coaching contract with their IPL franchises.

VVS Laxman: Former India batsman VVS Laxman has now reportedly emerged as a potential candidate as the head coach of the Indian team. He is currently the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He has good relationship with all the players. With his genial nature and cricketing acumen, he may act as a bridge between the superstars and youngsters of Indian cricket.

Gautam Gambhir: As a mentor Gautam Gambhir has done brilliant jobs for KKR and LSG. The former India southpaw is renowned for his tactical acumen and man-management skill. He could also be a top contender to be the next head coach of the Indian team.

Justin Langer: Australian coach Justin Langer has also evinced interest to be the next head coach of the Indian team. As BCCI is most probably looking for a foreign coach, Langer could be a good candidate for selection.

BCCI has dismissed the chances of picking separate head coaches for separate formats. Hence, a single head coach will be appointed after the tenure of Dravid.