The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) advertisement inviting applications for Team India's head coach ahead of Champions Trophy 2017 was initially labelled as a formality.

However, it turned out to be the starting point of what is now infamously addressed as the Kumble-Kohli saga. Even as the BCCI were receiving applications for the coach's role, it was believed that the former India leg-spinner, who enjoyed a successful one-year-stint, would get a contract extension.

However, the rumoured rift between the captain and the coach kept making headlines. Kumble then stepped down from the high-profile job soon after India's Champions Trophy campaign.

Cut to Monday, July 10, and we are a few hours away from an interview of six shortlisted candidates -- Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Phil Simmons, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput.

The Cricket Advisory Committee, which has Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, have been tasked with the job of finding a skipper-friendly tactician.

And there is no prize for guessing the favourite. Not just the skipper, but the majority of the players in the Indian team want Shastri back in the dressing room. It was evident that the Men in Blue had formed a strong bond with the former India captain during his stint as team director between 2014 and 2016.

Shastri, unlike Kumble, was able to keep the mood in the dressing room light and, it seems, was open to diverse opinions of the players. The World Cup-winning all-rounder stepped into the dressing room when a young Indian unit was struggling to find wins overseas and he quickly turned it around forging a strong partnership with the skippers.

Ravi Shastri, Sourav Ganguly, Indian Cricket news, Indian cricket, Indian cricket coach, BCCI, Cricket Advisory Committee
Ravi Shastri.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

The results were there to be seen as India fought valiant battles against Australia Down Under in the 2014-15 tour and reached the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup. Also, Kohli's men came back from behind to win a historic Test series in Sri Lanka and the turnaround in the series is being attributed to Shastri's pep talk after India's loss in the first Test in Galle.

Despite all this, Shastri somehow missed the bus last year and Kumble was chosen. Hardly anything is expected to go against him this time, but here are a few who can steal the high-profile job away from the former Team Director.

Virender Sehwag 

This swashbuckling former India opener was persuaded by BCCI officials themselves to apply for the post when rumours about the rift between Kumble and Kohli was getting stronger.

Sehwag has the least coaching experience among the six shortlisted candidates. Having been at the helm of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab for the last two seasons, in which he has not produced exemplary results.

However, the Delhi dasher, known for his show-stealing charisma, can be the Jose Mourinho of the Indian cricket team.

Virender Sehwag, India coach, Sehwag coach, Anil Kumble, BCCI
Virender Sehwag.IANS

The Delhi dasher is also known for finding success with his unconventional ways, which might as well work wonders for the team.

Also, there is no one better than him at being familiar with the current crop of Indian players. Having played a lot of cricket with skipper Kohli, Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh among others, Sehwag can understand the needs and demands of the dressing room well.

Tom Moody

The two-time World Cup-winning Australian all-rounder is a strong contender for the India coach role. During his playing days, Moody gave it his all and with his never-say-die attitude, while he came back into the ODI team after a long hiatus and helped Steve Waugh's side win the 1999 World Cup.

The 51-year-old had been linked with the India coach role quite a few times in the past, including last year.

Moody is known for his stint with the Sri Lanka cricket team between 2005 and 2007. The Australian tactician played a crucial role in helping build the core of the Asian team, which went on to find a lot of success in the following years.

Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, who were at the early stages of their careers back then, were lucky to have Moody, who helped the talented stars become world beaters.

At the 2007 World Cup, when India and Pakistan suffered an early exit, Sri Lanka braved the alien conditions and finished as runners-up.

Yuvraj Singh, Tom Moody, SRH, KKR, IPL 2017
Yuvraj Singh and SRH coach Tom MoodyIANS

Another aspect that makes Moody a real threat to Shastri is his local knowledge, despite being labelled as a "foreign coach". Moody helped IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad win their first league title in 2016 and transformed the David Warner-led team into a powerhouse, who relied on their bowling unit to deliver results.

With an array of overseas tours coming India's way, Moody, who is known to be an astute tactician, can the man to be in-charge of Kohli's unit. His focus on pace bowling firepower will definitely come in handy.

Lalchand Rajput

If the CAC on Monday is going to go by statistics, there is no better candidate than this former Indian cricketer. Rajput was at the helm of the team when Dhoni and his boys stunned the world in 2007 by winning the inaugural edition of World T20.

After being deserted by the senior cricketers, who faced the backlash of a disastrous World Cup campaign that year, a young Indian team set off to South Africa under Dhoni, who was on his first international assignment as captain. With some well-executed strategies as early as in the second game against Pakistan, the Men in Blue went on to show great character through their glorious run.

Lalchand Rajput
Lalchand Rajput was appointed Afghanistan coach in 2016Lalchand Rajput

Rajput has gone on to only become a better tactician as he has produced some stunning results with the Afghanistan cricket team, which was recently handed Test status. Appointed in 2016 as the head coach of Mohammad Nabi's unit, the former India cricketer has won a lot of praise for the Asian minnow's recent success.

Having worked with the India A and U19 teams in the past, Rajput's domestic knowledge makes him a strong contender for the coach role.