A day before the window for the applications for India's coaching staff closes, captain Virat Kohli has endorsed Ravi Shastri for continuing as the head coach. Shastri and the rest of the coaching staff's tenure was originally until the World Cup, but the BCCI extended that till the end of India's tour of the West Indies, which is scheduled to finish on September 3.
"With Ravi bhai, all of us have a great camaraderie, everyone in the team shares mutual respect [with him]. And we have done really well together as a group," Kohli said at the pre-departure press conference for the tour of USA and West Indies. "Yeah, we will definitely be very happy if he is continuing as a coach, but as I said it is upon the CAC to seek my advice or opinion if they want. Right now, I haven't been contacted at all. And I don't know what is going to happen with the process."
Earlier this month, the BCCI put out an advertisement inviting applications for the entire coaching staff with July 30 as the deadline. It is understood that the next coach is likely to be announced by mid-August.
While posting the advertisement the BCCI said Shastri and the rest of the existing coaching staff comprising Sanjay Bangar (assistant coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) would get automatic entries during the recruitment process but will be interviewed if shortlisted.
The interviews would be carried out by a three-person Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising former India captain Kapil Dev, former India batsman and coach Anshuman Gaekwad and former India women's captain Shanta Rangaswamy. This CAC replaced the previous panel comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, which had picked the previous two India coaches: Anil Kumble in 2016 and Shastri a year later after the former decided to resign.
According to Kohli, the new CAC had not yet contacted him, but he was open to give his opinion if sought. "The CAC hasn't contacted me yet," Kohli said. "If they tell me we want your opinion, yes, I'll definitely go and speak to them."
Incidentally, before Kumble stepped down controversially, Kohli had been contacted by the previous CAC, which had tried to sort the differences between the pair. It is understood Kohli did not want to budge, which eventually resulted in Kumble opting to walk away.
Shastri replaced him albeit after the CAC took some time to finalise its choice. Having conducted the interviews with Shastri and four other candidates, the CAC had then spoken to Kohli before the BCCI announced Shastri as the new coach.
This time the CAC will have about two weeks to shortlist the candidates and conduct interviews. Although the CAC has not been given a deadline, it is understood the panel is likely to make its choice around August 14.
Gaekwad, who was India's head coach between 1997 and 1999, said that the CAC would look for a couple of specific criteria in the shortlisted candidates. "You need to have good man-management skills," Gaekwad told ESPNcricinfo. "There is not much technically you can do [at this level], but surely you need to keep an eye on the players who can develop some kind of snag over a period of time which ought to be corrected immediately. So man-management and planning are the key elements."