Gautam Gambhir has strong opinions, says Andy Flower, backs him to be successful as India coach

Andy Flower and Gautam Gambhir (Image: X)

Flower, the former Zimbabwe captain and the current Royal Challengers Bengaluru coach, knows a thing or two about Gautam Gambhir’s style of functioning. The pair worked together at Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL and according to Flower, the newly-appointed India coach has “strong opinion Andy s”.

“He is quite a man, Gautam Gambhir,” Flower told Sony Sports. “I really enjoyed working with him. He has got strong opinions. He has got clear views on the game.”

Gambhir left LSG to join Kolkata Knight Riders as team mentor and guided the Kolkata-based franchise to the IPL title this year. Flower parted ways with LSG to join RCB. According to him, decision-making is one of Gambhir’s strong points. “He is very decisive,” said Flower. “He is a very proud Indian. He loves Indian cricket and his position, representing Indian cricket. I think it’s a good appointment and I think he is going to be successful.”

The BCCI on Tuesday appointed Gambhir as the new Indian team head coach, replacing Rahul Dravid. The immediate challenge for the new coach would be to win over a dressing room that was in thrall to Dravid. In fact, Rohit Sharma has led the tribute for the departing coach, penning an emotional note for his “work wife”.

“Since my childhood days I have looked up to you just like billions of others but I was lucky enough to get to work with you this closely,” the India captain wrote on his Instagram post. “My wife refers to you as my work wife and I’m lucky to get to call you that too.”

Rohit added: “You are an absolute stalwart of this game but you left all of your accolades and achievements at the door and walked in as our coach and came on a level where we all felt comfortable enough to say just about anything to you.”

The players are professionals and they will move on. Maybe, for Gambhir to get into the groove, he needs an elongated bedding-in period, which is normal given that he has big shoes to fill. Gambhir has called his appointment an honour. “India is my identity and serving my country has been the greatest privilege of my life,” he posted on his X handle. “I’m honoured to be back, albeit wearing a different hat. But my goal is the same as it has always been, to make every Indian proud. The men in blue shoulder the dreams of 1.4 billion Indians and I will do everything in my power to make these dreams come true!”