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India’s next coach: Moody, Simmons in shortlist of six along with Shastri

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The next head coach of the senior India men’s team is expected to be chosen on Friday from a shortlist of six: the incumbent, Ravi Shastri, as well as Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, headed by Kapil Dev, will convene in Mumbai to conduct the interviews before making their decision.

The three overseas coaches are likely to join the committee members over video conference, while Rajput and Robin, team manager and fielding coach during India’s 2007 World T20 win, are likely to be present in Mumbai for the interviews. Besides Kapil, the CAC comprises Anshuman Gaekwad, the former India opener and coach, and Shantha Rangaswamy, the former India women’s team captain.

Confirming the updates, a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India, “These six will give presentation for head coach before CAC. It has been learnt that these six have been short-listed for interview with the CAC.”

While the names of Moody, who has rich coaching pedigree in international cricket [Sri Lanka] as well as in the franchise circuit [Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, for example], and Hesson, formerly head coach with New Zealand and Kings XI, have been doing the rounds, Simmons is seen as a late entrant.

The former West Indies opener was until June the head coach of Afghanistan. In the past, he has also had stints with West Indies, with whom he won the World T20 title in 2016, and, most notably, Ireland. Hesson, meanwhile, served as head coach of New Zealand for six years, the highlights being their memorable run to the 2015 World Cup final and a home Test series win over England in 2018. He has also been linked with the Bangladesh men’s team, who are without a coach since letting go of Steve Rhodes after the World Cup.

There have been suggestions from the BCCI that Shastri is most likely to continue, something that has the backing of India captain Virat Kohli, who publicly expressed his support for Shastri at a press conference before flying out for the tour of the USA and the Caribbean late last month.

“With Ravi bhai, all of us have a great camaraderie, everyone in the team shares mutual respect [with him]. And we have done really well together as a group,” Kohli had said at the time. “Yeah, we will definitely be very happy if he is continuing as a coach, but as I said it is upon the CAC to seek my advice or opinion if they want. Right now, I haven’t been contacted at all. And I don’t know what is going to happen with the process.”

Shastri and the rest of his support staff – Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), B Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) – are automatic entrants into the process. All of them are on an extended 45-day contract that will come to an end following the two-Test series in the Caribbean.

While Arun has been favoured, like Shastri, to retain his job, Sridhar could be up against Jonty Rhodes for the fielding coach’s position. Meanwhile, Bangar’s position as batting coach will be challenged by the candidatures of Pravin Amre, Vikram Rathour and J Arun Kumar.All three have been associated with coaching at the domestic and IPL level.

Amre is presently batting consultant of the USA national team and Delhi Capitals, while Rathour, who served as member of the selection committee until 2016, and Arun are with Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry respectively.The support staff is likely to be picked by MSK Prasad, the men’s selection committee chairman.



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Recent Match Report – Glamorgan vs Leicestershire, County Championship Division Two, 2nd Innings

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Glamorgan 435 (Cooke 96*, Patel 66, Lloyd 66, Wright 5-64) and 251 for 5 dec (Brathwaite 103*) beat Leicestershire 263 (Wright 60, Patel 4-58) and 132 (Salter 3-6) trail by 291 runs

Glamorgan gained the maximum 24 points by defeating Leicestershire by 291 runs to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive, but they will need to beat Durham by a similarly resounding margin at Chester-le-Street next week and hope that Gloucestershire or Northants- who play each other in the final game – drop sufficient points.

Leicestershire’s only hope was to battle for a draw, but apart from Mark Cosgrove, who faced 158 balls for his 28, no one could master an accurate Glamorgan attack, where both seam and spin triumphed.

The visitors, who required a massive 424 to win, resumed on 33 for 2 on a glorious final day of the season at Sophia Gardens, were soon in trouble against Michael Hogan, who took two wickets in his opening spell.

Hassan Azad was the first to go, when he was undone by a perfect yorker from Hogan that left the batsman on his hands and knees, then four overs later George Rhodes was bowled by a beauty that pitched middle and hit the off stump.

Harry Dearden then joined Cosgrove, and he played some handsome strokes through the offside, but was out shortly before lunch when he played down the wrong line at Andrew Salter and was adjudged leg before for 37.

Leicestershire were 101 for 5 at lunch, but the end came quickly after the interval as they lost their last five wickets for 31 runs in 23.4 overs .Harry Swindells was caught at slip when he edged one that turned from Samit Patel, and was followed by Cosgrove, whose vigil ended when he was run out. He pushed the ball to short leg, and although Billy Root had the ball in his hands, Cosgrove set off, realised his mistake, but by then Root had underhanded the ball onto the stumps.

Chris Wright, who had top scored in the first innings did not last long, also edging a catch to slip off Salter, then from the next ball Will Davis, sensing that were six men crouched around the bat, tried to launch the ball into Cathedral Road, only to spoon a catch to cover point.

When Gavin Griffiths gave David Lloyd his third catch at slip for Patel’s second wicket, and Salter, at the other end, had finished with 3 for 6 from 10 overs, Glamorgan had won with ample time to spare.



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Recent Match Report – Nottinghamshire vs Warwickshire, County Championship Division One, 2nd Innings

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Warwickshire 488 (Sibley 215*, Hain 76) and 271 for 2 (Sibley 109, Burgess 61*) beat Nottinghamshire 498 (Mullaney 179, Clarke 125) and 260 (Clarke 112, Hannon-Dalby 4-54) by eight wickets

Dominic Sibley followed his unbeaten first-innings double century with another hundred as Warwickshire completed a successful run chase on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Sibley, who scored an undefeated 215 in the first innings, followed up with 109 as the visitors reached their target of 271 from a minimum of 58 overs with eight wickets to spare. The 24-year old opener Sibley scored his runs from 147 balls, with 10 fours, and shared in an opening stand of 146 with Will Rhodes, who made 65.

Having been on the field for virtually the entire match, Sibley was eventually bowled by Paul Coughlin, who took 2 for 85.

By that stage the victory was already in sight, with Michael Burgess hitting an unbeaten 61 after coming in at No. 3.

Earlier, the day had looked as if it might belong to Joe Clarke, who registered his second hundred of the match.

Clarke followed up his first innings score of 125 with 112 as Notts made 260 in their second innings. He was last out, bowled by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who took 4 for 54, with Jeetan Patel picking up 3 for 52.

Clarke’s championship season had begun with scores of 112 and 97 not out against Yorkshire in early April but off-field issues disrupted his campaign and he had failed to reach 50 in any of his 17 Division One innings since then.

Dropped for the previous match, he returned to the starting XI as Notts rested players ahead of this weekend’s Vitality Blast Finals Day. His return to form now puts him in contention to figure on Saturday as well.

The former Worcestershire batsman reached his sixteenth first-class century from 130 deliveries, having hit 15 fours.

“Firstly, Dom Sibley is a man in form and has played unbelievably well,” Clarke said. “As a close mate of mine, hopefully I can see him in England colours this winter.

“It was nice for me after missing out last week. I was gutted, so coming back in I worked really hard to show people I don’t want to be left out again.”

On the prospect of playing at Finals Day on Saturday, he added: “I felt like I went ok in the T20s and feel confident but the decision is in other people’s hands, not mine. I’ll have a swing and be prepped to go if I get the nod.”

Resuming from their overnight score of 105 for 5, a lead of 115, the home side had an early set-back when Coughlin was given out caught behind off Henry Brookes for 16.

Ravi Ashwin joined Clarke and kept the scoreboard moving in a partnership of 73, made in only 13 overs.

George Garrett broke the stand, gaining a positive lbw verdict against Ashwin, who made 42. The same bowler wasn’t able to build on his success, clutching his thigh as he limped out of the action during his next over.

Clarke was on 89 when he lost his next partner, Luke Fletcher, popping Patel into the hands of Sam Hain at short leg.

Patel dismissed Zak Chappell for a promising 29 soon after lunch and the innings was completed when Clarke was bowled trying to farm the strike. In his disappointment he knocked out a stump with his bat – apologising immediately to the umpires.

Brendan Taylor, who made 114 and 105 not out against Durham in 2016 was the last Nottinghamshire batsman to record two hundreds in the same match.

The visitors began well, reaching tea on 82 without loss, with Sibley unbeaten on 48 and Rhodes on 34.

Gradual accumulation saw the openers advance the score to 146 before they were separated. Rhodes, who had hit Ashwin for two leg-side sixes in his 80-ball half-century, picked out Chappell in the deep, upper-cutting Coughlin.

A tired-looking Sibley then wandered across his stumps but Burgess reached his 50 from 51 balls, leaving Matt Lamb to hit the winning run.

The match aggregate of 1,517 runs is the largest in the competition this summer but leaves Notts still without a victory at the foot of the table. They now turn their attention to Finals Day on Saturday, before completing their red-ball season against Surrey at The Kia Oval next week.

Warwickshire move up to sixth in the table with their victory and host Yorkshire in their final encounter.



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There’s no question, Virat Kohli is RCB captain: Simon Katich

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Recently the owners at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) carried out a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, brining in former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson as team director and appointing former Australia batsman Simon Katich as the head coach.

On Friday, in Bengaluru, both Hesson and Katich had a media interaction where they discussed a wide range of issues including why they feel Royal Challengers, which is lead by India captain Virat Kohli, can be realistic about winning their maiden IPL title in 2020.

Excerpts:

Royal Challengers Bangalore haven’t made the playoffs for three seasons now. How can you turn it around?

Mike Hesson: We have spent a lot of time in the last two weeks looking at how we want to structure things as a support staff. With the structure we have got and people we’ve got around us, we’re well aware that we have to make a few tweaks in the squad to get the balance that we think we need moving forward. We are not going to talk about player names, obviously we are not going to give too much away, but there has certainly been a lot of behind the scenes thinking about how we want to structure things.

ALSO READ – RCB support staff overhaul: Kirsten and Nehra out, Hesson and Katich in

Has there been any thought at all at looking at a different captain?

Simon Katich: Not at all.

How will the team management set-up work in the new structure?

Hesson: I will be having input pre-game, but Simon and Virat will be in charge on game days in terms of the XI they put on the park. The dealings I had with both are inclusive as well. I am sure coaches that have experience at certain venues against opposition, but it’s a collective agreement. But Simon and Virat will be in charge on game days.

“You need to have guys who are prepared to put the team first over their individual needs of trying keep getting a game, or just potentially do well for the next option.”

RCB’s head coach on what he expects

Kohli has lead for the past seven seasons. The outside perception is he calls the shots. Is that a strength or do you have any apprehensions about working with him?

Katich: From our point of view, we have been aligned about how we are going to go about things. We haven’t got that perception about Virat at all. Potentially there is a learning from that and the fact that what he has done in the past, maybe he has learnt from that and wants to go about things differently moving forward. But from what we’ve discussed with him so far, he is very much been aligned about how we want to move forward, and happy to take advice from our experience and how we see things.

There is always going to be different opinions, but it is about what is best for the team and I think we have both (him and Hesson) spoken about it over the last couple of weeks. There’s no question, for us Virat is captain.

How easy or difficult is it to talk to with superstar players like Kohli or Brendon McCullum (at New Zealand when he was head coach) to have an open discussion on decision-making?

Hesson: Simon, Virat and myself, everybody have been working together to this point and so far those relationships have been very good. There is a time and place for everything, but the three of us have to be brutally honest with each other behind closed doors around every decision.

There will be decisions we all make where we might say: “hang on, what we were thinking there?” And it might not necessarily be saying you have done something wrong. It’s just asking for clarity on what you were thinking. I think this is responsibility of all of us to challenge the three of us as a leadership group to make sure we are getting the best out of each other. We are not gonna be passive and not be afraid of having honest discussions. There is no value in that for anybody.

Royal Challengers have never been short of talent. As a coach how do you get that talent work together?

Katich: A big part of it is identifying what sort of style of players will bat well with each other or potentially bowl well in partnerships together in different phases of the innings. So that’s something we are working through at the moment. But then when it comes to a team’s style of play, you need to have guys with that character that they are prepared to put the team first over their individual needs of trying keep getting a game, or just potentially do well for the next option.

So that’s the balancing act of trying to put a squad together and that’s where the character side of it comes into it because yes, they are a lot of players out there with lots of talent but are they playing in winning teams and how are they contributing in being part of winning teams? So that’s all the things we have to weigh up when we are making these judgments over the next few months.

How do you make sure the Chinnaswamy pitch will favour RCB so that they utilise home advantage, a crucial determining factor in making play-offs?

Katich: It was probably the first thing I mentioned when I first came on about the job, was asking the question about the wicket because I have seen it evolved over the last four years. Obviously in 2017, it was a different type of wicket given what happened with the drainage. And obviously it affected the balance of the team because it was playing differently to what the team had been used to in the past. So that was one of the first questions asked because you want to really utilise your home ground advantage for seven games and if you make it a fortress which others teams have done at their venues, whether it’s at Chennai (Chennai Super Kings) or whoever it is, that becomes a big determining factor whether you can make it to the playoffs. So that’s one thing we certainly will be taking into account and making sure that it suits the balance of our team and so we have to understand how it is going to play.



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