The story:

Quashing all the reports suggesting that he has applied for Team India’s head coach’s post, former India fast-bowler Venkatesh Prasad has said that he would like to re-join the national team as the bowling coach.

Image credits: AFP

“I’ve not applied for the head coach’s role yet and might not do so before the deadline,” Prasad told Cricbuzz. “However, I’m very much keen to contribute to Indian cricket as an assistant coach or a bowling coach. I can work under Ravi Shastri or Virender Sehwag or whoever becomes the head coach and bring in my experiences as an international cricketer and a former coach.”

The background:

With Anil Kumble stepping down from the post of Team India coach unexpectedly, citing Virat Kohli‘s reservations over his style of functioning, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has extended the timeline for submission of applications for the post to July 9.

The board has advertised for the same post last month but decided to re-open the process on realising that a number of eligible candidates might not have applied since Kumble himself had re-applied.  The new candidates will join join the already shortlisted candidates – Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh .

The new advertisement has already seen an interesting name applying for the job in the form of former team director Ravi Shastri who was seen as the front runner to bag the role last year only to see the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) pinning its faith on Anil Kumble.

And while Prasad is willing to take the role of bowling coach, it will be interesting to see whether the CAC thinks on the same line. During Kumble’s tenure, the team didn’t need a separate bowling coach and sought only specialised coaches for batting (Sanjay Bangar) and fielding (R. Sridhar). However, Bharat Arun was the bowling coach when Shastri was the team director and with the latter seen as the front-runner once again to become the head coach, Prasad might be back as a backroom staff of the team.

“I’m not sure whose prerogative it is to pick the assistant or bowling coaches but if the legends at the CAC – Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman consider me worthy, I will be more than happy to work towards the betterment of Indian cricket,” Prasad added

Prasad: An experienced campaigner:

The former India pace spearhead has the credentials to bag the role of the bowling coach. The 47-year old had served as India’s bowling coach for a couple of year after the 2007 World Cup. During his spell with the team, India won the inaugural World T20 in South Africa and the tri-series in Australia. India also won Test series in England and New Zealand during his spell as the former Karnataka pacer received praise from various members of the team.

Image credits: AFP

He has also served as the  head coach of Uttar Pradesh Ranji team and the Under-19 side, guiding them to the final of 2006 World Cup. Apart from national teams, he was also a part of IPL teams- Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.

Prasad was also a terrific bowler for the Indian team. Known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, Prasad took 96 and 196 wickets from 33 Tests and 161 ODIs respectively.