CSK coach Stephen Fleming in line to become Team India's head coach after Rahul Dravid?
Image: IPLT20

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) is eyeing Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming to lead the senior men’s Indian side following the completion of Rahul Dravid’s tenure. Though no official formalities have been processed as of now, sources in the know believe Stephen Fleming to be a worthy successor to lead Team India.

Notably, the board officially invited applications for the role of head coach in the Indian side on Monday. The next coaching period will be three and half years, which will run until December 2027.

Rahul Dravid joined Team India back in 2021 and was set to complete his tenure after the end of the ODI World Cup 2023. Noting the immediate consequences, if there is a change in the coach ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, the board extended Rahul Dravid’s tenure until the T20 World Cup.

Stephen Fleming has a very rich coaching history. He has been associated with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since 2009 and has led the team to five IPL titles. Besides looking after CSK in the IPL, Fleming has also tried his hands at the Big Bash League (BBL) with Melbourne Stars, Joburg Super Kings in SA20 and Texas Super Kings in Major League Cricket. He has also led Southern Brave in England’s The Hundred.

Given the rich legacy of Stephen Fleming in the IPL and his brilliant capabilities as a leader, he is one of the most attractive coaches to be at the helm of the Indian team. However, the BCCI’s proposal requires anyone to be with the team on the road for 10 months a year, which is a big ask.

While there is a buzz around the world cricket to bring in two sets of coaches for white ball and red ball formats, the BCCI looks in no mood to entertain such things. One of the BCCI conditions in the advertisement includes anyone who gets picked as the head coach of the Indian side will be responsible for leading all three formats.

It’s been learned that through the course of the IPL 2024, informal discussions have already taken place, but there is no official word at all so far. Fleming hasn’t informed CSK about anything so far, neither has he agreed to the BCCI.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming in line to become Team India's head coach after Rahul Dravid?
Photo by: Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI

Notably, the condition to be on the road for close to 10 months a year, pulls back most of the candidates, who wish to coach Team India. Rahul Dravid, who replaced Ravi Shastri, was also reluctant to take up the role due to very high commitment, however, the BCCI was somehow successful in luring him. It remains to be seen if the BCCI manages to bring CSK coach Stephen Fleming on the same page.

Besides Fleming, the other coaches on the fray are Justin Langer, the LSG coach, and VVS Laxman.

Justin Langer recently said that he is “curious and fascinated” to be India’s coach. However, he hasn’t made any decision regarding the official advertisement of the BCCI. On the other side, VVS Laxman, who is currently the head of NCA, is also in the fray.

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