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Chappell remains favourite
- Decision on coach put off till today; Mohinder makes passionate presentation
(From top) Greg Chappell, Tom Moody, Mohinder Amarnath and Desmond Haynes in New Delhi on Thursday. The BCCI conducted interviews of the four contenders for the post of India coach. Pictures by Prem Singh

New Delhi: Mohinder Amarnath’s nearly two-hour presentation on Thursday, which was “high on passion and sentiment,” has improved his prospects for the Team India coach’s job.

Till the other night, he was simply seen as one shortlisted by the BCCI’s six-member ‘selection’ committee to keep the swadeshi lobby happy.

Mohinder was confident during his interview and presentation ' even making Greg Chappell wait for almost an hour-and-half ' and may script an upset if one of the three former captains on the committee manages more support for him.

“Desmond Haynes isn’t anywhere in the frame, but Mohinder is there... He was almost written off, but treating him now as a poor also-ran will be foolish,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.

John Wright’s successor was to have been known by late evening, but the committee (Ranbir Singh Mahendra, Jagmohan Dalmiya, S. K. Nair, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri) deferred its decision till Friday.

An announcement is expected around 12.30 pm, after the committee’s own meeting, scheduled for 10.00 am.

Things spun out of control as Mohinder far exceeded the 45 minutes budgeted for each contender. Also, the Mahendra-Dalmiya duo went to meet the Prime Minister in connection with the tax exemption for the 2006 Champions Trophy.

The nearly two-hour adjournment meant Tom Moody could only be called for his interview and presentation over five hours after the process began at the Taj Palace.

Chappell and Moody began the day as frontrunners, but while the former is still the favourite ' albeit by a wafer-thin margin ' it’s to be seen whether Moody has actually lost ground to Mohinder.

Apparently, Chappell (inarguably the tallest contender, stature-wise) made the most “professional” presentation. As for Moody, at 39 the youngest contender, his was probably the most “technical'”

“Chappell kept it simple as he believes cricket doesn’t have to get complicated,” the well-placed source pointed out.

Unlike the others, who used CDs and took the help of a projection screen, Haynes relied on pen-and-paper. It’s no surprise, then, his presentation was the shortest. He must return to Barbados ' where he’s chairman of the national sports council ' empty-handed.

Incidentally, the Sri Lankans are chasing Chappell and Moody in earnest. Both, one understands, received calls from Colombo during the day with the caller suggesting they board an early mor- ning flight for the Lankan capital.

Chappell and Moody, however, are going to wait for the BCCI’s decision.

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