Former Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri has been the head coach of the Indian national team right from 2017 when he was appointed by the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising of former players Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. While his initial contract was supposed to run only till the ODI World Cup in 2019, the same was extended till the 2021 T20 World Cup which will take place in India.
Ravi Shastri’s presence and his understanding with skipper Virat Kohli has been instrumental in pushing Indian cricket forward. Under his tenure, India famously secured victory against Australia in a Test series in Australia. Although they were seen as contenders to win the 2019 World Cup, India fell in the semi-final. With the race for the World Test Championship final well and truly on and the T20 World Cup looming, Shastri’s tenure enters a key phase. If it is decided that Shastri won’t continue after 2021, these are five coaches who can do a great job as head coach of India.
Rahul Dravid has been a key figure in developing young Indian talents since the time his illustrious playing career came to an end. As coach of the Indian U-19 team, he led the Indian side led by Prithvi Shaw to the World Cup title. He has also been involved in coaching stints with teams from the Indian Premier League like Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils.
Dravid brings an air of calm with a focus on developing young talent. Much like his playing career where he was assured and unfazed by challenges, the 47-year-old could bring the same mentality to the Indian cricket team and take them to potentially great heights.
Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody is famed in the cricketing world for his wide and astute knowledge on the game of cricket. During his playing days, Moody was an important player for his national team with both bat and ball. After his retirement, Moody took up coaching and by now has a plethora of experience with coaching youngsters around the world.
Moody has also had plenty of coaching experience in the Indian Premier League where he has coached Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, leading the latter to the title in 2016. He was replaced by Trevor Bayliss in 2020 before being announced as Director of Cricket for the 2021 season.
Another former cricketer from the same famed Indian batting line-up along with Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman could be in the fray for the head coach’s role in the future. Another calm and composed cricketer with plenty of experience in coaching, Laxman could bring a similar mentality to the national team.
Laxman has experience with coaching in the Indian Premier League as well. He has been the batting coach for the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise for quite some years now and the team has flourished, reaching the playoffs of the tournament for every year from 2016. The 46-year-old could as well turn the Indian team into world-beaters.
Trevor Bayliss is another former Australian player who has plenty of experience in coaching. His biggest moment came in 2019 when he led the England national team to their first-ever 50-over World Cup title in the most dramatic of fashions. Right after the World Cup however, the 58-year-old moved on from the team.
He was then appointed as the head coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in the 2020 Indian Premier League. After what was a bad start, his team came back and qualified for the playoffs of the tournament before falling in Qualifier-2. With over 15 years of involvement in coaching, Bayliss might ensure India see bright days.
Former Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene made a name for himself during his playing days as a reliable middle-order batsman. He was even famous for nearly breaking Indian hearts by scoring a century in the World Cup final in 2011. Since his playing days, the elegant batsman has taken to coaching and more than proved his credentials.
As head coach of the Mumbai Indians franchise in the Indian Premier League since 2017, the 43-year-old has led the side to three titles. With his excellent understanding with a plethora of Indian players and his capable coaching skills, the Sri Lankan’s name will definitely be one that will be considered for the post of head coach in the Indian team.