The ongoing four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia could very well go down as the final series for Anil Kumble as Indian cricket team head coach, a position that could be taken over by India A and India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid.
The notion could soon become reality, should Kumble take up the offer of the post of the Indian Team Director – the position of which has been lying vacant since cricketer-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri's tenure came to an end after the ICC World T20 last year. If it all Kumble takes up the offer, he is expected to start in the new role by 14 April.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), which is currently in charge of affairs at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is planning radical changes in the coaching structure along the lines of that of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), according to a report in The New Indian Express. The committee further entrusted him with the job of filing a comprehensive report on the senior, A, U-19 and women's teams.
Kumble is reported to have met the Committee after the second Test in the ongoing series, and has been given some time to ponder over the decision as the workload in the new job is perceived to be more strenuous than the one that he is currently in charge of.
"If it happens, Indian cricket will benefit, as one person will handle all the teams and there will be better coordination between all concerned," a Board source was quoted as saying according to the report, which added that Dravid was among the names being considered as Kumble's replacement.
Kumble was appointed as the head coach of the Indian cricket team in July last year by the cricket advisory committee — comprising Indian batting legends Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. His first assignment in the role was the Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean, which the Indians won 2-0. It was followed by the home season, in which India beat New Zealand and England in both Tests and limited-overs assignments while vanquishing Bangladesh in the one-off Test earlier in February. The current Test series against Australia is locked at 1-1, with the hosts having levelled the series after winning the second Test in Bengaluru.