Harish Kotian looks at the contenders for the BCCI's premier committee.
The Indian team is going through a period of transition, with the younger generation taking over the Test team as the seniors drop out one by one. And overseeing this period of change will be a fresh set of selectors. The current lot, headed Krishnamachari Srikkanth, has completed its term.
Srikkanth served as chairman of the national selection committee for four years, and during his tenure Team India achieved the high of winning the 2011 World Cup. But there was disappointment in equal measure as the team was whitewashed 4-0 in successive Test series in England and Australia.
His team, comprising Mohinder Amarnath (North Zone), Narendra Hirwani (Central), CR Venkataraman (East) and Surendra Bhave (West) conducted its last meeting in Mumbai on Monday, when they picked the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup match, and the India A and B teams for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy.
The new committee, which will take over on September 27, however, has a task on hand, having to select the team for the tough home series against England and Australia.
The Test team has weakened in the last 12 months following the retirements of senior pros Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, while the young lot, barring for Virat Kohli, is yet convince.
With several names being thrown in the ring, and each having strong backing, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is finding it tough to select the new team of selectors.
It is believed that the nomination for chief selector is virtually sealed, with former India batsman Mohinder Amarnath set to take over the top post. He will be the only member to be retained from the previous committee. There were reports that he did not get along well with Srikkanth after he asked for Dhoni to be sacked as captain following the team's failure in Australia. But, given the charge of a new team, it is learnt, he will be happy to continue.
His colleague and team-mate during India's 1983 World Cup-winning team Roger Binny also looks good to take over from South Zone, following strong backing from state-mates and former India players in Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Javagal Srinath, who are all part of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
But, as far as the other zones are concerned, the selection is unlikely to be as simple and straightforward.
Arup Bhattacharya is a strong contender from East Zone, but former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta's name is also doing the rounds though many believe the former, with his political connections, will get the nod.
Former India pacer Abey Kuruvilla, who is chairman of selectors for the Under-19 team, is a strong contender from West Zone. There is also the option of former junior selection committee member and former Baroda player Rakesh Parikh, but it looks unlikely he will be preferred over Kuruvilla.
Meanwhile, there is a cold war going on in Central Zone, with all the states trying to push for their candidates.
Uttar Pradesh's Gyanendra Pandey has emerged the leader, but Rajasthan have put forward their case by naming former India opener Gagan Khoda.
There are two more candidates from the zone in the form of former UP wicketkeeper Sunil Chaturvedi and former spinner Rajinder Singh Hans.
With so many names on offer and as much politics involved, it will not be an easy task for the BCCI as they flip through the names of the contenders before announcing the new selection committee.