[caption id="attachment_880599" align="alignnone" width="628"]<img class="size-full wp-image-880599" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Phil-Simmons_AFP-Getty.jpg" alt="" width="628" height="413" /> Phil Simmons pulling out of the race means that there will be five contenders for the India head coach role. @AFP/Getty Images[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>Former <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/west-indies/">West Indies</a> opener <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/phil-simmons/news/">Phil Simmons</a> on Friday pulled out of the race for the Indian cricket team chief coach's job, leaving five aspirants in the race with incumbent Ravi Shastri as the frontrunner. <p></p> <p></p>Shastri has always been the favourite and once the BCCI advanced the Kapil Dev-led panel's media conference by an hour to 6 pm, it became quite evident that it's a one-horse race. <p></p> <p></p>"Phil Simmons has officially intimated BCCI that he will not be appearing for the interview. So it's now five people who are in contention," a senior BCCI official told PTI. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ:</strong> <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/ravi-shastri-indias-record-during-his-tenure-as-coach-ravi-shastri-coaching-record-880425" target="_blank" rel="noopener">India's record during Ravi Shastri's tenure as coach</a> <p></p> <p></p>Indian aspirants Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput appeared in person for the interviews at a suburban hotel, while Tom Moody appeared via Skype from Australia. <p></p> <p></p>Rajput, cricket manager of the Indian team that won the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007, was interviewed by the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) for around 40 minutes. "I am confident," Rajput told reporters before leaving the venue. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/indias-next-coach-six-interviews-underway-ravi-shastri-frontrunner-cac-to-announce-coach-after-7pm-today-880491">India's next coach: Six interviews underway, Ravi Shastri frontrunner, CAC to announce coach after 7pm today</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>Robin, his competitor and former fielding coach of the national team, also exuded confidence and said that his "interview went off well". <p></p> <p></p>Mike Hesson is expected to be interviewed in the second half while Shastri will be the last to appear, at 5:30 pm IST.