Phil Simmons, Mike Hesson and the other final candidates shortlisted for India head coach job

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Phil Simmons has emerged as a surprise contender for the job.

The hunt for the new coach of the men’s Indian cricket team is set to draw to a close soon with six candidates being shortlisted for the final interview to be conducted buy BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).

Current head coach Ravi Shastri, Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput are the six men who have been shortlisted for the job according to a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The six men will now be interviewed by the CAC comprising of Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy before the final selection is made on Friday.

“These six will give presentation for head coach before CAC. It has been learnt that these six have been shortlisted for interview with the CAC,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by the PTI.

Here, we run the rule over the six shortlisted candidates.

Robin Singh

The former India all-rounder has been on the coaching circuit for more than 15 years now in various capacities with stints all across the globe. While he has previously coached the India U19 and the India A teams, Robin Singh has also held the role of the fielding coaching with the senior men’s team between 2007 and 2009.

He has coached the national teams of Hong Kong and the United States of America when it comes to international cricket while he has a wealth of experience of managing T20 franchises around the globe.

Singh has had coaching stints with Mumbai Indians in the IPL, Barbados Tridents in the CPL, Khulna Titans in the BPL along with Kerala Kings in the T10 League held in the UAE.

Former India all-rounder Robin Singh (l).

Former India all-rounder Robin Singh (l).

Lalchand Rajput

The former Bombay and India opening batsman was the manager of the Indian team which went on to lift the inaugural World T20 championship in 2007 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.

Rajput has previously coached Mumbai Indians in the IPL before taking up the Afghanistan job in 2016. It was in Rajput’s tenure that Afghanistan managed to pull off a shock ODI win over the West Indies before he was replaced by Phil Simmons in 2017.

Rajput has also held the role of Zimbabwe head coach subsequently and he was recently at the helm of Winnipeg Hawks in the 2019 Global T20 Canada.

Mike Hesson

The Kiwi has turned into one of the most sought-after coaches following a six-year spell with the Black Caps which saw the team go all the way to the final of the 2015 World Cup.

Hesson is widely credited with transforming the playing culture of the Black Caps alongside then skipper Brendon McCullum and was instrumental in the side notching up away Tests series wins in England as well as South Africa.

More recently, Hesson was in charge of the Kings XI Punjab franchise in the IPL but he has stepped down from that role after his name was linked to the India, Bangladesh and Pakistan jobs.

Hesson had six years with the Black Caps.

Hesson had six years with the Black Caps.

Tom Moody

The Australian is no stranger when it comes to coaching in the subcontinent and achieved considerable success with the Sri Lankan team whom he led to the finals of the 2007 World Cup.

Moody has since had coaching stints in the Big Bash League, IPL, BPL, Pakistan Super League and the CPL. He was in charge of Sunrisers Hyderabad for seven IPL seasons in total and led them to the title in 2016 along with runner-up finish in the 2018 edition.

The former Australia all-rounder recently parted ways with the Hyderabad franchise and seems intent on landing an international job in the subcontinent.

Ravi Shastri

The current incumbent remains the favourite to retain his role with the team due to his excellent equation with skipper Virat Kohli.

It has been more than two years now in the role for Shastri in what is the second stint with India for the former all-rounder and the results have largely been positive.

India have established themselves as the top Test side under Shastri and are only behind world champions England when it comes to the ODI format. However, failure to win away Test series in England and South Africa slightly blots Shastri’s report card with India as does the team’s semi-final loss to New Zealand in the recent World Cup.

If Kohli has his way, it will be Shastri once again who will be in the dugout for India.

Shastri seems the favourite to retain the India job.

Shastri seems the favourite to retain the India job.

Phil Simmons

The former West Indies all-rounder is the surprise entrant in the six-man shortlist but he has one of the most enviable coaching resumes among them. Simmons started his coaching journey with the Zimbabwe side in 2004 but his major success came with Ireland in a memorable eight-year stint.

Under Simmons, Ireland were able to qualify for every major ICC event and pulled off shock wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, England in the 2011 World Cup and the West Indies in the 2015 edition.

He then took charge of Windies in 2015 before leading them to the World T20 title in India in 2016. Simmons was most recently involved with the Afghanistan team before his contract came to an end after the 2019 World Cup in England.

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