Can Vikram Rathour become India's new batting coach?
The head coach of Team India is all set to be decided on Friday. While six candidates have been shortlisted for the interview procedure, reigning head coach Ravi Shastri is the outright favorite to retain the role. However, the batting department, in particular, could see a change. Will Sanjay Bangar lose his spot to Vikram Rathour? Here's more.
As far as the batting coach spot is concerned, 12 candidates have been shortlisted so far. However, as per a Times of India report, the name of Rathour has been doing rounds of late and is being considered a strong favorite for the role. The 50-year-old has been in the attention of Team India junior coach and NCA director Rahul Dravid.
The TOI report also states that as per sources, the Indian team players are adamant on having an Indian coach over a foreigner, owing to the ease of communication. Rathour has had a great appreciation on the domestic circuit, both as a coach and a selector. However, his appointment was refrained in the past for NCA and India A, due to conflict of interest.
"The COA, however, has never specified what the conflict is. That he is related to former BCCI president Anurag Thakur? How is it even a conflict? Just because you're related to someone, your qualifications or experience shouldn't matter?" added the source.
While he failed to make an impact on the international circuit, he had a decent career in the domestic circuit. In 2012, he was appointed the national selector for North Zone, and under him, Barinder Sran and Rishi Dhawan came in the limelight of the national team. Dravid had also rooted for him as U-19 coach, but a conflict of interest barred him.
While Rathour is a favorite for the role, he is not the only one. Other big names with the likes of Lalchand Rajput, Pravin Amre, Amol Mazumdar and Mithun Manhas too are the strong favorites for this role. Thus, it would be an interesting call.
As far as the other departments are concerned, bowling coach Bharat Arun is likely to be retained, despite some top names like England's Darren Gough and India's Venkatesh Prasad. However, the fielding department, currently headed by R Sridhar could see a change, with the great South African legend Jonty Rhodes being a strong contention, alongside India's Abhay Sharma.