There were some contenders to Sairaj Bahutule for this spot. They were Sanjay Bangar and Robin Singh. Sanjay Bangar, the former Indian All-rounder did a splendid job for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 7. He was the coach for Kings XI this season and his strategic decisions impressed many and he was also a major reason behind Kings XI being the runners up of this season. He brought up the talents from young uncapped players like Akshar Patel, Manan Vohra, Rishi Dhawan and plenty others. He was a strong contender to Bahutule but Bahutule did manage to come in front of him. To some, it might come as unexpected as Bangar’s talent of being a coach was proven in the past IPL and Bahutule coming in front of him might seem unnatural.
Robin Singh, who has been one of the prime mentors for Mumbai Indians from the first season was also put behind by Bahutule. Robin Singh was even the coaching staff for them when MI were the IPL champions in 2013 and he was also involved when MI won the champions league the same year. Thus, Robin Singh was also an eminent contender to Sairaj Bahutule. But at last its Sairaj Bahutule upon whom the power is being vested by the cricket board of Kerela.
Also, in addition to Bahutule being the coach of Kerela State Team for Ranji Trophy, the Cricket Board of Kerela has also appointed a bowling coach for them in the form of Tinu Yohannan. Tinu Yohannan was the first Kerelian cricketer to win a national cap and holds a respectable stature among the Kerelian Cricketers and Cricket Fans.
It has been revealed by the President of Kerela Cricket Association, TC Mathew that KCA had tried to rope Bahutule as a player for a few years. His words were as such, “I was actually trying for Sairaj for the last seven years, I wanted him to be in Kerala as a key player. That did not materialise. I know his potential as coach, he is a thinking cricketer.”
The KCA consulted with its director of Cricket, Mr. Chandrakant Pandit and had jointly shortlisted the three former stars in the likes of Bahutule, Bangar and Robin Singh to take over the role of the coach from the former Kerelian Coach, Sujith Somasunder, who was a former Indian opener.