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Will IPL Success Propel KKR's Gautam Gambhir Into India's Coaching Arena?

The BCCI announced in a statement regarding the application process for the head coach position of Team India that submissions must be made by 6 pm IST on May 27, 2024. Several prominent names are being discussed, with Gautam Gambhir, mentor of the recently crowned IPL 2024 champions Kolkata Knight Riders, reportedly leading the race […]

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir

The BCCI announced in a statement regarding the application process for the head coach position of Team India that submissions must be made by 6 pm IST on May 27, 2024. Several prominent names are being discussed, with Gautam Gambhir, mentor of the recently crowned IPL 2024 champions Kolkata Knight Riders, reportedly leading the race to succeed Rahul Dravid.

Upon the BCCI’s posting of the job description on their website, numerous former cricketers emerged as potential candidates. Notably, these include former Australian captain and current Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, former Australia coach and current Lucknow Super Giants coach Justin Langer, former England coach and current RCB coach Andy Flower, current Rajasthan Royals coach Kumar Sangakkara, and of course, Gautam Gambhir himself.

BCCI Shows No Interest in Hiring Foreign Coach

Gradually, all the prominent candidates mentioned earlier withdrew from consideration. Langer and Flower explicitly stated their disinterest in the position, with Langer citing advice from LSG skipper KL Rahul regarding the associated pressure and politics, while Flower reiterated his commitment to RCB. Sangakkara also followed suit.

Ponting revealed having informal discussions during the IPL but a statement from BCCI secretary Jay Shah clarified that no approach had been made to any ‘former Australian cricketer’ for the role, effectively ruling out Ponting from contention.

The release further clarified the BCCI’s preference for a candidate well-versed in the Indian domestic structure, effectively eliminating the possibility of hiring a foreign coach. This narrows down the list to one person deemed suitable for the role—Gautam Gambhir. His successful mentoring of KKR to their first IPL title in a decade strengthens his candidacy for the position in Indian cricket.

The key question arises: if Gambhir is approached or applies for the position, would the KKR management be willing to release their mentor? Similar scenarios have unfolded with Langer, as he mentioned in a recent podcast, where he is assured of returning as LSG coach next year, and with Flower, who is committed to returning as RCB coach following the team’s advancement to the IPL 2024 Playoffs. This sentiment also applies to Sangakkara and the RR management.

Adding to the complexity, the Indian coaching role spans three years, which could serve as another deterrent for Gambhir. Accepting the position would entail relinquishing the KKR job, a task made even more challenging after their triumphant IPL campaign.

Will KKR Part Ways with Gautam Gambhir?

Ultimately, the decision to accept the job will rest with Gautam Gambhir. While the responsibility of leading Team India will undoubtedly bring immense pressure, Gambhir is accustomed to handling pressure and appears to be the most suitable candidate to weather any challenges that may arise.

Additionally, it’s crucial to consider this aspect: India has been striving to undergo a transition in recent times. Despite the term being used loosely, Gambhir is the ideal individual to spearhead this transition, concluding this phase once and for all, and ushering in a new era of Indian cricket.

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BCCIGautam GambhirKKRTDGThe Daily Guardian