Team India New Head Coach: Who Are The Top Contenders To Replace Rahul Dravid

One of the frontrunners for the job, Gautam Gambhir is known for his tactical acumen and man management skills. A two-time World Cup winning player, Gambhir has led the Kolkata Knight Riders to victory in the 2012 and 2014 editions of the Indian Premier League. He is currently, the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders and has played a key role in helping KKR break the playoff jinx, after many years. He also impressed in his role as a mentor for IPL franchises Lucknow Super Giants and Kolkata Knight Riders. If reports are to be believed then BCCI is also keen to appoint the Delhi southpaw the next Team India coach. However, his emotional ties with Kolkata Knight Riders and potential conflicts with certain players may influence his decision.

Among all the names doing the rounds, it is believed that Aussie legend Ricky Ponting has also thrown his hat in the ring for the most coveted job in cricket. onting has apparently been sounded off by the BCCI, a report in RevSportz stated. Shortly after Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as India coach, Ponting had revealed that the BCCI had shown interest in snapping him up before zeroing on Dravid. Ponting had stated that during his time with the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, he was in talks with a few people who were 'hell-bent on making it work'. Ponting was also in talks to coach the Australian team at the time but shied away from it because he had a young family.

Stylish Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene was top of the BCCI's list several times for the head coach's job. Even when Rahul Dravid took over from Ravi Shastri, Jayawardene was top of the cricket board’s wishlist. Jayawardene has quality coaching experience and won an IPL title during his first season with MI in 2017. He went on to win two more titles in 2019 and 2020, and forged a successful partnership with captain Rohit Sharma. In addition to his IPL success, Jayawardene has served as a consultant to the Sri Lankan cricket team during ICC events is known for his man manager skills and won the English domestic competition The Hundred as coach.

Former Australia opener Justin Langer's name has also been mentioned as Rahul Dravid's replacement. Currently the coach of Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, Justin Langer, has a rich coaching experience. In 2016, he served as interim coach for the Australian team while then-coach Darren Lehmann took leave to scout for the team. He also coached Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers from 2012 to 2018. Langer resigned from his job as Australia coach in February 2022 after taking over the reins after the infamous 2018 Sandpaper scandal which led to the resignation of Darren Lehmann.Langers’s exit from the Australian coach position was messy. Cricket Australia and Langer mutually agreed to part ways in 2022 after players expressed concerns over his coaching style.Langer took on another such big job - of coaching Australia, under tough circumstances as he succeeded Darren Lehmann in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal of 2018. He oversaw home series defeat in Tests to India but his team bounced back to win an ODI series in India before reaching the semifinal of the ODI World Cup in 2019 and retaining the Ashes.

Five-time IPL winning coach and former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming is also on BCCI's wishlist for the coveted job. d Fleming's coaching stint began in 2009 when he retired as a player and took on the role of head coach for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Since then, he has steered CSK to remarkable success, clinching five IPL titles and two Champions League T20 victories. Under his guidance, CSK emerged victorious in the 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023 IPL seasons.Fleming's coaching expertise extends beyond the IPL. He has successfully led other franchises like Joburg Super Kings in SA20 and Texas Super Kings in Major League Cricket. Additionally, Fleming also had a coaching stint with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League from 2015 to 2019.

Ashish Nehra, former Indian pacer and currently head coach of Gujarat Titans is also in the fray for the top job. One of the best coaches that has been going in Indian cricket is Ashish Nehra. The former Indian cricketer has been exceptional in the role for Gujarat Titans for the past two years. He led the team to a title win in 2022 and then guided them to the final in 2023. Ashish Nehra in 2021 also expressed his desire to take up the role of coach in the Indian team. The Gujarat Titans coach during the event, stated that if given a chance, he would be ready to take up the role. However it remains to be seen if the former India pacer applies for the top job.