In a major reshuffle following Rahul Dravid's elevation to the position of head of cricket at Bengaluru's National Cricket Academy, Sitanshu Kotak and Paras Mhambrey have been promoted to the top coaching posts with the India A and India Under-19 teams, respectively.
Kotak, the former Saurashtra batsman, will perform head coach and batting coach duties with India A, with Ramesh Powar, the former India offspinner, taking over as bowling coach and T Dilip as fielding coach. The appointments, for the moment, are only for the upcoming tour of India by South Africa A for a series of two four-day matches and five one-dayers.
Former India fast bowler Mhambrey, who has worked for long with the 'A' and Under-19 sides under Dravid, will be the head coach as well as the bowling coach of the junior side at the upcoming Asia Cup in Colombo in September. Former India batsman Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Abhay Sharma, another key member of Dravid's team, will be the batting and fielding coaches, respectively.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Mhambrey and Abhay will continue to be members of Dravid's permanent staff at the NCA, but will serve elsewhere - like with the Under-19 team - as required.
Dravid had served as the head coach of the two teams since his appointment in 2015, till being given the NCA position earlier this year. Dravid, however, has a meeting with Justice (retd) DK Jain, the BCCI's ombudsman-cum-ethics officer, lined up on September 26 following conflict-of-interest allegations levelled by Sanjeev Gupta, a Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member. Gupta's contention is that Dravid should not be on the BCCI's payroll - as NCA cricket boss - because he was a long-term employee of India Cements, the company owned by former board president N Srinivasan that also owns Chennai Super Kings.
Apart from Mhambrey and Abhay, the others also have coaching experience at the higher levels. Kotak, who retired from first-class cricket in 2013 after 130 appearances that netted him 8061 runs, has been Saurashtra coach, while Kanitkar, who also played his last first-class match in 2013, has worked extensively with Goa and Tamil Nadu in the domestic circuit. Dilip, meanwhile, has been a fielding coach with Hyderabad and was in the three-man shortlist - along with Abhay - for the senior India men's team job, which now looks likely to go to R Sridhar, the incumbent.
It's important to remember that at the time of naming Vikram Rathour as the likeliest successor to Sanjay Bangar as the next batting coach of the senior men's team, MSK Prasad had mentioned that the candidates placed second and third in the respective lists - batting, bowling, fielding - would be given the option to be accommodated in the India A or NCA staff. Bangar and former England batsman Mark Ramprakash had been two and three on the list for batting coach, and Mhambrey and Venkatesh Prasad on the list for bowling coach, behind the incumbent B Arun. Prasad's thought, of course, does not include Ramprakash.
Powar, meanwhile, was in the news most recently after a much-publicised fallout with Mithali Raj, which led to his ouster as chief coach of the India women's team. Powar landed the women's team job in July 2018 in an interim capacity following the resignation of Tushar Arothe, and his contract was subsequently extended till the end of the Women's World T20 later that year.
But Mithali, who was left out of the XI for India's semi-final at the World T20, which they lost, returned home and wrote a letter to the BCCI accusing Powar of trying to "destroy" her career, to which Powar responded by saying that Mithali had threatened to retire if she wasn't allowed to open the batting. Though Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana expressed their support for Powar, his contract wasn't extended, and WV Raman has since been in charge of the women's team.
SA-A tour of India