NEW DELHI: Gautam Gambhir is in pole position to become India’s next head coach after media reports said Tuesday that he was the only applicant for the high-profile post.

The 42-year-old, a flamboyant left-handed batsman who scored over 10,000 international runs across three formats, most recently coached Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL crown.

Applications for the top job closed on May 27, with Indian media reporting Gambhir was the only person to put his name forward.

After retiring from playing in 2018, Gambhir entered politics.

In 2019 he was elected as a lawmaker for Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party, but quit politics in March to coach the IPL’s Knight Riders.

His interview was set to take place on Tuesday, the Indian Express reported, citing BCCI sources, saying he was the “only candidate to have applied”.

The Times of India called him the “presumed front-runner”. India’s cricket board, the BCCI, has not made any official comment on the process.

Ricky Ponting not in race to be India coach despite being approached

The India job is currently held by Rahul Dravid but will become vacant following the T20 World Cup after he decided not to stay on.

India are seeking a replacement until the next 50-over World Cup in 2027.

India have not won a global title since the 2013 Champions Trophy under their last foreign coach, Duncan Fletcher of Zimbabwe.

Local media reports initially said that as well as Gambhir, former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming and Australians Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer had also been sounded out for the job.

But BCCI secretary Jay Shah dismissed the reports, issuing a statement saying that no Australian had been approached with a coaching offer.


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