New Delhi, May 18: With everybody focused on the Team India coach interviews tomorrow, John Wright’s departure has enlivened a bland off-season.
While he is putting his feet up in the countryside off Christchurch, Mohinder Amarnath, Greg Chappell, Desmond Haynes and Tom Moody are preparing for their biggest post-retirement test.
Unless the BCCI’s six-member committee ' Ranbir Singh Mahendra, Jagmohan Dalmiya, S.K.Nair, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri 'decides to deliberate even more, Wright’s successor will be known by late evening.
The interviews begin at 2 pm in the alphabetical order. While Mohinder gets to open, he isn’t the frontrunner. Rather, he appears to be fighting a losing battle.
Sources said despite Haynes’s presence, the face-off is more between the Australians representing different generations. Perhaps, even a different outlook as Moody’s debut was almost four years after Chappell’s last appearance.
Chappell enjoys a slight stature-driven advantage, but Moody is at his heels and can bring him down. Both, though, are lightweights in formal coaching: Chappell’s CV shows he worked with South Australia; Moody is Worcestershire’s director of cricket.
Not that the committee is going to be strongly influenced, yet Steve Waugh’s recent endorsement of Moody hasn’t been forgotten.
Haynes’s best chance may be if there’s no unanimity over either Chappell or Moody.
Barring a shift, the administrators on the committee will be “guided” by the former captains. “The coach’s selection is a technical matter and the Gavaskars must have the biggest say,” said a source.
One of the captains said: “For me, the presentation is going to carry weight... What, for example, is the gentleman’s vision and specific plans for the 2007 World Cup' How much time will he devote beyond international commitments' How effectively can he communicate'”
Chappell, who arrived ahead of Haynes and Moody late tonight, said he wasn’t tense because his 2000 bid came a cropper. “Tomorrow is another day and I don’t live in the past.”