Advisory committee keen on Kumble continuing as coach
The three-member cricket advisory committee (CAC) tasked with finding a new coach for India will first attempt to keep hold of the incumbent, Anil Kumble. ESPNcricinfo understands the CAC will speak to both Kumble and captain Virat Kohli in an attempt to resolve differences that have emerged between the pair. In case that fails, the CAC is likely to sit separately with Kohli - who has publicly maintained he has no issues with Kumble - to reach a deeper understanding of the reasons why he, and some players, are finding it hard to cope with his approach, which has been said to be headmasterly.
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, the CAC trio, met for the first time formally on June 8 in London and are understood to have had "good detailed discussions" on the matter. Also present were BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary and the board's chief executive officer Rahul Johri.
And as it stands now the role of the CAC is a problem-solving one. Only if the differences cannot be resolved will they move on and invite the rest of the shortlisted candidates for interviews. According to one official, one reason the CAC and BCCI are keen for Kumble to stay on - beyond the obvious importance of continuity - is that they believe there is no certainty similar issues will not arise with a new man in charge. The committee understands the "onus" is on them to make the right choice, especially as Kumble was their choice in the first place.
Given the significance of the task, the CAC is not likely to be pushed into making any hasty decisions. With Kumble's contract coming to an end after the Champions Trophy, and India's tour of West Indies starting on June 23, the BCCI was in favour of appointing the new coach as soon as possible. But the CAC has asked the BCCI to allow it time and space to work through the situation, facilitating where needed in arranging various meetings.
The BCCI's acting president CK Khanna has sent out an email to Choudhary asking the interview process to be postponed to after the board's special general meeting on June 26, though there is an element within the administration that would prefer the issue to be resolved sooner rather than later.
The performances of the Indian team in the ongoing Champions Trophy will not have any bearing on the CAC process. With Ganguly and Laxman in the UK on broadcast assignments and Tendulkar also present, much of the CAC's deliberating will take place in the country.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo