Former India opener Virender Sehwag is among the candidates who applied for the Indian cricket team's coaching job. Sehwag, who was the mentor of Kings XI Punjab in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), is said to be one of the front-runners for the top job along with some of the others who have also put in their applications for the important post. Anil Kumble, whose contracts ends after the Champions Trophy, is also among candidates along with former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody and Englishman Richard Pybus.
The other two Indians among applicants are former fast bowler Dodda Ganesh and former India A coach Lalchand Rajput. Moody and Rajput had applied for the chief coach's job last year also but it was Kumble, who got the nod.
However, the entry of Sehwag -- one of India's greatest ever game changers -- makes the battle for the position very interesting.
It's the same kind of scenario when Ravi Shastri seemed all set to be retained as coach and Kumble was asked to throw his hat in the ring at the eleventh hour.
However, the fact that a player of Sehwag's stature has applied gives enough indication that everything is not right in the Indian dressing room. Sehwag will only apply when he knows that he is a serious contender for the top job.
It will be interesting if Kumble finally appears for the interview knowing that Sehwag has applied for the post.
However, many in BCCI feel that Sehwag, who is also a social media sensation, may demand an astronomical salary and then Moody, who gave a good presentation last time also, could come into the fray.
It may well happen that Moody, a proven international and IPL coach (Sri Lanka and Sunrisers Hyderabad) may be considered for the job.
Moody is a proto-type of John Wright and Gary Kirsten, two of the successful coaches of India. He is soft-spoken, more of a backroom man with a pleasing personality.
A two-time World Cup winner (1987 and 1999), 52-year-old Moody was an important member of Australia's limited overs side till the late 90's, representing the country in 76 ODIs.
Pybus doesn't have great cricketing pedigree having played only one first-class match but is rated highly as a strategist. He has coached Pakistan national side twice.
Rajput and Ganesh could at best be the fillers with the latter being an aspirant for the fast bowling coach's job.
However, if Zaheer Khan is ever keen to take up the job, then BCCI may not look elsewhere.
The interviews are supposed to be held in England only. A few may join the interview via Skype. Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, part of the cricket advisory committee, and Sehwag are currently in England as part of the commentary team for the Star Sports in the Champions Trophy.
(With Inputs from Rica Roy and PTI)