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Onus now on Virat Kohli to pick coach?

virat-kohli-outstretchedMUMBAI: Contrary to their own processes put in place in 2016, when they picked former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble as India’s national coach, the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) now wants to hold back its decision and put forward their recommendation to the BCCI “only after meeting Virat Kohli”. In 2016, the CAC did not find the need to cosult Kohli before finalising Kumble as India’s national coach ahead of former India Team Director Ravi Shastri, who was clearly the players’ choice. After close to a six-hour interview process at the BCCI’s headquarters in Mumbai, during which five shortlisted candidates went through their respective interviews, the CAC said “there is no hurry” to announce the name. CAC member Sourav Ganguly instead said: “We have decided to hold on for the time being (the announcement). We need a few days more to talk to the players, especially the captain. The process is concluded (no more candidates will be interviewed). Virat did not give his inputs. He (Virat) needs to understand how the coaches (also) operate”. In doing so, Ganguly also said Kohli had not given any inputs on the matter. This comes close to a month after the CAC met Kohli in England and discussed the subject with the skipper in a long one-on-one meeting. Five candidates went through the interview process but those tracking developments said “Ravi and Tom came up with the best presentations when they spoke”. It can be confirmed that the coach has already been finalised. “Haven’t the players finally got what they wanted?” Those in the know of things say the CAC – a three-member committee of cricketing legends Ganguly, Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, with close to 32,000 Test runs under their belt – are refusing to take a decision on a matter that is entirely their responsibility, considering that it was indeed their responsibiity the previous year. As far as the candidates are concerned, it has now come to light that Virender Sehwag – one of the applicants – sent across his CV after one of the board’s senior administrators asked him to apply. Following the board official’s advice, Sehwag informed Kohli that he was going to send across his CV and the skipper encouraged him to do so, adding that everybody who believes in his potential should apply. The former India opener, nevertheless, is not in contention. “Everybody else other than Shastri and Moody are out of the race and between the two, it is Shastri who is favoured by the team members. Now, it is up to the CAC, who want the onus to be on Kohli, which is unfair,” a source in the know of things said. Contrary to media reports, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri’s trip to the Caribbean wasn’t about meeting Kohli. Johri confirmed that he had travelled to the West Indies for a meeting with officials of their cricket board, the details of which he refused to share. Those tracking developments close by say “somebody is trying to wash hands of this entire coach selection process, knowing where it’s heading. The consensus on the candidate is clear. What someone is essentially trying to do is put the onus on Virat and say ‘we have zeroed in on a (particular) candidate because this is what the skipper wants'”.

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