Mahela, Moody in line for Indian coach’s job

If reports are to be believed then former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is throwing in the hat into the ring for therole of head coach of the Indian team after the deadline for applying got extended to July 9.

Jayawardene has worked as a batting consultant of the England team before he took Mumbai Indians to Indian Premier League (IPL) 10 title glory earlier this year. This was his first season as a coach of the IPL franchise.

The stylish right-hander is a veteran of the game and has scored 25,957 runs from 652 international matches. The 40-year-old has 54 hundreds and 136 fifties to his name.

He has pulled out of the Lancashire league and may join Tom Moody and Richard Pybus as the third foreign contender for the top job.

This comes in as a major development and can shake things up once again as Virender Sehwag was touted to be the leader in the race for the job once Kumble resigned. India Today has learnt that some players have also backed Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Moody, who won the IPL with the franchise in 2016.

It is believed that if Jayawardene applies then it will be a three-way race between him, Sehwag and Moody. BCCI had shortlisted Moody, Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh for the highly respected job in world cricket. Kumble resigned after his partnership with skipper Virat Kohli became “untenable”. He took the decision two days after India were handed a 180-run defeat by arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Reports of a rift between skipper Kohli and Kumble emerged soon after the BCCI had advertised for the new coach. Kohli reportedly was unhappy with Kumble’s overbearing and intimidating attitude in the dressing-room but the India captain played down the talks before the Pakistan game on June 3. However, Kumble didn’t hold back in his statement and said that his relationship with Kohli was ‘untenable’ and he believed it is best for him to move on.

“I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the Captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the Head Coach. I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between Captain and Coach. Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the Captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on,” Kumble wrote in his statement.

Kumble’s original contract expired with the team’s Champions Trophy campaign, but the former captain was tipped to get an extension after enjoying a successful run during his year in charge before calling the quits.

The Indian team, which is currently in the West Indies for a limited-overs series is without a coach right now. The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, who elected Kumble will select the next coach as well. The process is expected to be completed before India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July. (Courtesy India Today)