After formally applying for the high-profile role on Tuesday, celebrated former captain Rahul Dravid is all but set to be the Indian cricket team’s next head coach. With Dravid, the current head of the National Cricket Academy, applying, the task of the Cricket Advisory Committee becomes easier, as there aren’t any other prominent names in the running who can match his status. He is also the first and only pick of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, according to reliable sources.

“Yes, Rahul has formally applied today, as the deadline has passed. Bowling coach Paras (Mhambrey) and fielding coach Abhay (Sharma) from the NCA have already applied. His application was merely a courtesy,” a top BCCI official told PTI.

Dravid met with BCCI officials in Dubai on the sidelines of the IPL final between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, where Ganguly and Shah discussed taking over the post once Ravi Shastri steps down at the end of India’s T20 World Cup campaign. If the role of head of the National Cricket Academy becomes vacant in the coming days, former India batting great VVS Laxman could be back in the running. According to insiders, Laxman may not remain as the coach of IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad, and if he is chosen, he will have to relinquish his media obligations, which include commentary and authoring articles.

The national coach and the head of the NCA are required to work closely together in the best interests of Indian cricket. Dravid and Laxman, who have been friends since their time playing for South Zone and then for India for about a decade and a half, are thought to be the best candidates. Another factor to consider is that Laxman is a resident of Hyderabad, where he has a young family with children in their teens as well as elderly parents. According to reports, Laxman was hesitant to accept the NCA Director of Cricket position, but the BCCI will contact him again.