BCCI to meet Dravid and Chappell on April 6
The BCCI will meet on April 6 and 7 in Mumbai to take serious decisions on changes of personnel in key positions in Indian cricket. Board officials will meet Rahul Dravid, who was named captain till the World Cup, Greg Chappell, the coach, whose tenure also lasted till the conclusion of the same tournament, and Sanjay Jagdale, the manager of the squad for the World Cup, and receive reports from them.
Those meetings will take place on the morning of April 6. Later that day, the board will meet with some former Indian captains to take their views on what needs to be done in the light of India's disastrous World Cup campaign, which ended up being a non-starter with India losing to both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Although they have not yet decided on which former captains to meet, it is likely to include prominent former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri.
The following day, the working committee meets to take any decisions regarding changes. At that meeting, the BCCI will also appoint a captain for the tour of Bangladesh, which begins in early May, with the first one-dayer to played on May 10. However, any further changes to the team will be announced only when the selection committee meets immediately before the tour of Bangladesh.
The big question on the horizon, captain and coach apart, involves the future of Sachin Tendulkar. In the past, even when Tendulkar has gone through lean patches, there has been little serious thought of dropping him. Now, sections of the board have begun to raise this possibility, with a view to building for the future. Sourav Ganguly has made runs since he forced his way back into the team but often these runs have not come at the fast clip usually associated with his style of play in ODI cricket. Whether he is still a long-term prospect is a question that the selectors will have to answer.
The World Cup was also meant to be a make-or-break tournament for Virender Sehwag, given his poor results in the weeks preceding. However, with hardly anyone delivering performances up to expectations, Sehwag may not be singled out for severe treatment.
Harbhajan Singh is another whose performances are in question - although he has bowled in a restrictive capacity and not as the attacking spinner that he made a name for himself back a few years ago. Ajit Agarkar, although still only 29, is another whose place could be in doubt, with young fast bowlers coming through.
As far as the position of the coach goes, it appears that the BCCI is tending towards appointing an interim coach for the tour of Bangladesh before making a long-term appointment. Sandeep Patil's name is doing the rounds as a front-runner for the job, but whether he will be interested in the job on a series-by-series basis remains to be seen.
"We cannot take any knee-jerk reactions. We will have to receive the reports from the coach and manager before we can take any decision," said a top BCCI official. "Only when we receive that can we decide what changes, if any, need to be taken"
When asked about reports in television channels that suggested that Dravid would be replaced by Yuvraj Singh as captain, and that Sandeep Patil would be appointed as interim coach, the BCCI official would only say, "At this stage it is all pure speculation. Some members of the board have expressed their individual opinions, but we have not officially discussed the captaincy or the coaching issue."
One thing that does appear likely is Anil Kumble's retirement from one-day cricket. Even before the World Cup Kumble was in and out of the one-day squad, and had more than once excused himself from tournaments in order to rest an increasingly troublesome shoulder and be fit for the Test matches.
Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo