Kolkata: India skipper Virat Kohli might want Ravi Shastri to continue as the head coach of the Indian cricket team, but the newly formed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) co-member Anshuman Gaekwad has made it clear that they will go in with an open mind when they sit down to interview the short-listed candidates.
The CAC - comprising India's first World Cup winning captain and legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, former batsman and coach Anshuman Gaekwad and former women's captain Shanta Rangaswamy - have been entrusted with the job of selecting a new head coach.
The current coaching staff were handed an extension till the tour of West Indies as their contract expired after the World Cup. India will play three Twenty20 internationals, three ODIs and two Tests in USA and the the Caribbean.
"We have to go with an open mind. There are interviews to be conducted. Lot of people from India and abroad have applied. We have to go there and assess things," Gaekwad told IANS in an interview.
In his pre-departure press conference, India skipper Kohli had said the team would be very happy if Shastri continues as the head coach.
"The CAC hasn't contacted me yet. If they want my opinion, I'll go and speak to them. With Ravi Bhai, we share a great camaraderie, and will definitely be very happy if he continues. But I haven't been contacted so far," Kohli had said in Mumbai.
Asked if the committee would keep Kohli in the loop before picking the next coach, Gaekwad said it was not mandatory.
"The captain can say anything. It doesn't bother us. We are a committee. That's his opinion and the BCCI takes a note of it, not us.
"It all depends on BCCI. BCCI has to give us guideline and then we will go accordingly. He has already said yesterday (what he wants). When we chose the women's coach, we did not contact anybody. We did it on our own," Gaekwad further said.
The CAC is looking for an efficient planner with sound man-management skills, Gaekwad stressed when asked about the qualities they will be looking at before selecting the coach.
"Basically, what is important is...I have been a coach. Kapil has been a coach. What is important is man management, planning, and technical expertise.
"These three things are most important for a coach to succeed. The Indian team is doing well. But to get them to do better these are the three things. There are a lot of things. But these are the main things.
"I am waiting for some communication from the BCCI. How to go about it? Some guidelines, when to do it," he concluded.