Former Australian allrounder Tom Moody is one of the favourites to become coach of India after Anil Kumble stepped down because of an "untenable partnership" with captain Virat Kohli.
Kumble had led India to the final of the Champions Trophy, where they were defeated by fierce rivals Pakistan at The Oval, and had been expected to continue as the squad headed out for a limited-overs tour of the Caribbean, which starts on June 23.
Pakistan defies the odds to overwhelm arch-rival India by 180 runs and pull off a major upset in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London.
He had taken on the role 12 months ago, guiding India to 12 victories from 17 Test matches with just one defeat.
Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India had invited applications for the head coach role last month, the organisation was also hoping to renew Kumble's one-year contract. However, the former India captain and leg-spinner told the governing body he no longer wished to be considered for the position.
This has left the position open, with Moody, 51, one of the frontrunners for the job. He had been encouraged to apply last month when the position had initially been advertised.
Former Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott had also applied, twice sending his details to the BCCI. McDermott recently denied to Fairfax Media his application had been late, as was reported by Indian media.
Moody has had a successful career as a player and coach. He was part of Australia's 1987 and 1999 World Cup winning squads and played eight Tests between 1989 and 1992.
He would go on and become director of cricket of English county side Worcestershire and later coach of Sri Lanka, leading that nation into the 2007 World Cup final. He had earlier missed out on the role of India coach in 2005 when Greg Chappell was appointed.
Moody had also been in the running last year when Kumble was given the nod. He is also a respected commentator and is director of cricket for Big Bash League franchise, Melbourne Renegades.
He did not wish to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media on Wednesday. However, those close to him said he is keen to meet with India's selection panel of former champions Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, and believes he can handle the political minefield that is Indian cricket.
Indian media have reported former star batsman Virender Sehwag is also a leading candidate. West Indies director of cricket Richard Pybus is in the running.
Kumble posted a statement on his personal social media accounts on Tuesday evening, revealing a rift with Kohli - who denied any discord prior to the start of the Champions Trophy - was behind his decision to leave
I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the captain (Virat Kohli) had reservations with my 'style' and about my continuing as the head coach.
"I am honoured by the confidence reposed in me by the CAC (BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee) in asking me to continue as head coach. The credit for the achievements of the last one year goes to the captain, the entire team, coaching and support staff," Kumble said.
"Post this intimation, I was informed for the first time yesterday (Monday) by the BCCI that the captain (Virat Kohli) had reservations with my 'style' and about my continuing as the head coach.
"I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between captain and coach.
"Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on."
India enjoyed a strong year under Kumble, winning Test series in the West Indies (2-0) before defeating New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1- 0) and Australia (2-1) on home soil.
"Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table," Kumble said.
"These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the coach's role akin to 'holding a mirror' to drive self-improvement in the team's interest.
"In light of these 'reservations' I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and BCCI deem fit."
India are set to play a five-match one-day series, starting with an ODI against West Indies in Port of Spain, and also a T20 fixture while touring the Caribbean.
The BCCI confirmed Kumble's departure in a statement, declaring: "Mr Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the head coach for the senior India men's team."