Cricket South Africa (CSA) is tight lipped about the speculation that former India coach Gary Kirsten has emerged as the frontrunner for the position of new Proteas coach.
Dismissing talks that Kirsten, who lead India to victory in the World Cup on home ground, was the obvious choice, CSA said it had received "strong applications" from South Africa and abroad.
Former Pakistani coach Richard Pybus is considered to be a strong contender after Kirsten, while former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and former Australian all-rounder and Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody are also believed to be the other applicants.
CSA on Monday started interviewing potential candidates to replace Corrie van Zyl, who returned to his position at the CSA High Performance Centre after the recent World Cup in the Indian subcontinent.
Van Zyl, player representative Boeta Dippenaar, selection convenor Andrew Hudson and CSA chief executive Gerald Majola comprised the panel which put candidates through tough questioning before they also undergo psychometric tests.
The panel will make its recommendations to the CSA board after interviewing the candidates for the job.
CSA also still has to select a new captain for South Africa as Graeme Smith stepped down from the post after the world Cup, where the team was crushed in the quarterfinals against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, asked about Gary Kirsten's chances of succeeding the outgoing South African coach (Corrie Van Zyl), Johann Botha said, "I think honestly Gary has had a good time with the Indian team. If he takes over everone will be happy."