"We have decided to invite Ford and another coach of foreign origin for discussions," N. Srinivasan, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told reporters here.
"We have not been able to reach the second person so far but we hope to do so soon.
"We had made contact with Whatmore before. By implication, you can say that Whatmore is out of contention."
BCCI sources told AFP that former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga may be the other person invited for talks in Chennai on Saturday.
A seven-man coach selection panel of the BCCI took the decision to invite the two following a dinner meeting on Monday in this southern city.
BCCI president Sharad Pawar heads the panel, which also included three former captains in Sunil Gavaskar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Ravi Shastri.
The panel's choice of a successor to former Australian captain Greg Chappell, who quit after the World Cup, will have to be approved by the BCCI's working committee on June 12.
Ford, 46, served as South Africa's coach from 1999 to 2001 and is currently working with English county side Kent.
It was not immediately clear why Whatmore, a former Sri Lanka and Bangladesh coach who was regarded as the leading contender for the post over the past one month, was relegated to the sidelines.
Whatmore, 53, was the frontrunner ever since he publicly expressed his interest in coaching Rahul Dravid's men even before he ended his four-year tenure with Bangladesh a week ago.
India have had a foreign coach since 2000 with New Zealander John Wright serving until 2005 before Chappell took over for a two-year period.
Gavaskar, now a high-profile media figure, had criticised Whatmore's tactical acumen in recent newspaper columns. But he denied that he was against the appointment of a foreigner.
"If I was anti-foreigner, then how did Greg Chappell become coach of India since it was a unanimous decision," Gavaskar told the Mumbai-based Mid-Day newspaper on Monday.
Gavaskar, Venkataraghavan and Shastri were also part of the panel that selected Chappell as coach in April 2005.
All four Asian Test teams are looking for a new coach.
While Chappell quit India after the World Cup, Pakistan's Bob Woolmer died during the tournament, Sri Lanka's Tom Moody opted to return home to coach Western Australia and Whatmore left Bangladesh.