NCA coaches Sitanshu Kotak and Sairaj Bahutule to join VVS Laxman’s coaching staff for upcoming Zimbabwe tour – Report

VVS Laxman

National Cricket Academy (NCA) coaches Sitanshu Kotak and Sairaj Bahutule will be included in the coaching staff for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe. Sitanshu Kotak and Sairaj Bahutule will assist VVS Laxman, who will coach the Indian team on the tour of Zimbabwe next month.

Current head coach Rahul Dravid’s tenure will end after the conclusion of the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to finalize the new head coach of the men’s team. The new coaching staff will not be available for the tour of Zimbabwe.

Former India player Gautam Gambhir is reportedly in line to become the next head coach, following his successful stint with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). According to a PTI report, Gambhir’s first assignment is expected to be the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in July-August.

VVS Laxman will be the head coach of the Indian team for the T20I series against Zimbabwe. He previously took charge of the team in the absence of Rahul Dravid and the main team during tours or breaks. Laxman was also considered for the permanent head coach position but rejected the offer.

Sitanshu Kotak and Sairaj Bahutule will be part of the coaching staff

Sitanshu Kotak and Sairaj Bahutule have extensive coaching experience with India, India A and India Under-19 teams in the past. They have worked closely with many players on the current team during the high performance camp at the NCA.

According to a News18 report, a senior board official emphasized that any decision on changes in the coaching staff will be taken after the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 as the BCCI does not want any distractions during the campaign.

“Whatever happens, will happen after the World Cup. There is no point in having distractions while the tournament is going on. Right now, all our attention should be on the Caribbean team and hope that they end the wait for the ICC trophy,” says a senior board official.

The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviewed Gautam Gambhir and WV Raman for the post of head coach. Gambhir emerged as the favorite to succeed Rahul Dravid, and selection of support staff is pending. It is not known whether the Indian Cricket Board will advertise these positions.

A young team, filled with emerging stars of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, will take part in the upcoming five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe. The selection committee has chosen young opening batsman Shubman Gill as the captain of the Indian national cricket team for the first match.

Gautam Gambhir is expected to begin his tenure as head coach of the Indian team with the upcoming white-ball series against Sri Lanka, comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, starting on July 27.

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