It’s official, Gautam Gambhir is India’s new head coach

Gautam Gambhir with Jay Shah and Rohit Sharma
Gautam Gambhir with Jay Shah and Rohit Sharma (PC: Jay Shah and IPL/X)

Gautam Gambhir has been appointed as the Indian team head coach and will start working from India’s tour of Sri Lanka later this month. BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed the appointment via a post on his X (the erstwhile Twitter) handle on Tuesday.
“It is with immense pleasure that I welcome Mr @GautamGambhir as the new Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team,” wrote Shah. “Modern-day cricket has evolved rapidly, and Gautam has witnessed this changing landscape up close. Having endured the grind and excelled in various roles throughout his career, I am confident that Gautam is the ideal person to steer Indian Cricket forward.”
RevSportz reported on May 15 that Gambhir would be the new India coach, replacing Rahul Dravid. Gradually it became an open secret. Today, the cricket board made it official. The BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape and Sulakshana Naik shortlisted two candidates, but there was always going to be only one winner.
“The Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Mr Ashok Malhotra, Mr Jatin Paranjpe and Ms Sulakshana Naik on Tuesday unanimously recommended Mr Gautam Gambhir as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Men),” stated the BCCI press release. “The former India batter will take charge from the upcoming away series against Sri Lanka where Team India are set to play 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is starting July 27, 2024.”
“His clear vision for #TeamIndia, coupled with his vast experience, positions him perfectly to take on this exciting and most sought-after coaching role. The @BCCI fully supports him as he embarks on this new journey,” Shah posted.
Gambhir doesn’t have any previous coaching experience at any level. But he mentored Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL title this year and before that, he was also Lucknow Super Giants team mentor. As the Indian team embarks on a period of transition, Gambhir, who is just 42 years old, might prove to be the right choice. The former India opener sees himself as a commoner, someone who likes to keep star culture at arm’s length. It would be interesting to see how he gels with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Indian cricket’s two biggest stars.
Then again, both Rohit and Kohli are in the autumn of their careers. They have already hung up their T20I boots and the Champions Trophy next year could well be their ODI swansong. Gambhir will have to mother-hen a group of young cricketers and he is good at it, something that everyone from the KKR camp will attest.
Gambhir’s philosophy focuses on a team culture where everyone is equal. Man management will be very important in the Indian team and a lot will depend on his style of functioning. Two of his immediate predecessors – Ravi Shastri and Dravid – were immensely popular in the dressing room because apart from coaching and mentoring the players, they became their friends.
The coaching transition from Dravid to Gambhir will not be easy, especially after India’s T20 World Cup triumph. The current crop of Indian cricketers revered Dravid. Gambhir’s first task will be to make his own mark.
“The Board would like to take this opportunity to express its heartfelt gratitude to Mr Dravid for his outstanding service as Head Coach,” said the BCCI release. “Dravid’s tenure was marked by significant achievements; the most noteworthy being crowned champions of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2024. Team India also finished as runners-up in the ICC 50-over World Cup, 2023 hosted in India & the ICC World Test Championship in 2023 hosted in England.”
Gambhir’s style of functioning as KKR captain and team mentor inspires confidence. Also, he is a two-time World Cup winner and knows how to win. As regards to his support staff, the BCCI is expected to give him a free hand to choose. KKR assistant coach Abhishek Nayar is said to be one of his preferred choices.

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