New Delhi: While Ravi Shastri was considered the favourite to replace Anil Kumble since the day he announced his intention to apply for the job of Team India's head coach, Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody were expected to give him tough competition.
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) – comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag – had interviewed a total of five candidates with Shastri emerging as the eventual winner. But what really led to the CAC snubbing Sehwag, who was a fan favourite?
As per a report in TOI, Sehwag was oozing with confidence after a fruitful experience mentoring the Kings XI Punjab team in the 2017 Indian Premier League, and it was then that a BCCI official had asked him to apply for.
"After his stint as mentor of Kings XI Punjab, Viru was growing more confident by the day that he had the potential required to work at a higher level in a similar capacity. It was then that a senior BCCI official asked him to apply (for the role of India coach) if he could make up his mind," someone in the know of things told TOI.
The report further stated that Sehwag had a brief discussion with Virat Kohli to get the skipper's views on the possibility of him getting the job, and also the first hand account on how a coach-captain relationship works.
"Of course, Viru paa. Your contribution to Indian cricket is great and we're all so familiar with you. I have no problems whatsoever in you applying for the role. Anybody who thinks he can contribute his best for Indian cricket can and should apply," Kohli told Sehwag.
The two Delhiites could've been paired into a professional relationship but it has now been understood that Sehwag's proposal to bring along with him a team of support staff that would include physiotherapist Amit Tyagi and Kings XI Punjab assistant coach Mithun Manhas, made Shastri the favourite for the job.
"Paaji, I have a lot of respect for you for what you can bring to the table but you have to understand that there is a professional set-up in place, therefore this cannot happen. The rest is up to the CAC," Kohli said.
"There is a support staff in place and has worked with this team for a while now. In fact there are individuals who understand the needs of team members on an individual basis," Kohli further explained.