‘Fair character’, ‘has the fire’, ‘can infuse winning culture’: Gautam Gambhir can be the kind of coach India need | Cricket News – Times of India

While it has been widely reported that former India opener Gautam Gambhir as the new India coach is a ‘done deal’, an official announcement on the team’s new boss replacing Rahul Dravid might take a few more days to come. But experts have no doubt left that Gambhir is the kind of character who has the fire inside him to take the Indian team to new heights.
Among his most recent successes, Gambhir took over the role of Kolkata Knight Riders‘ (KKR) mentor just before IPL 2024 and turned out to be the chief architect of KKR’s third triumph in the T20 league. It only added to his credentials as a mentor, after he had taken Lucknow Super Giants to the playoffs in two successive editions, before making a move to join KKR in a similar role. “What a record he has had as a coach!” said the former wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who announced his retirment after IPL 2024, on Cricbuzz. “Being a mentor for LSG, two years on the bounce qualifying (for playoffs), comes to KKR and they say, ‘Please, you got to do something special for us’. Ends up winning the trophy.”
It was effectively Gambhir’s third IPL title in KKR colours. When the team won its two titles in 2012 and 2014, Gambhir was the KKR captain.
“He has been at the helm, taken all the decisions (for KKR), be it sending (Sunil) Narine opening or getting Mitchell Starc in the auction — in all of those big recruits and getting the right team, the right balance, and then taking all the shots,” Karthik, who has previously played for KKR in the IPL, said.
“I am seeing in the news that he could be part of the Indian team (chief coach) as well, and I really wish he does. He has that fire in him,” Gambhir added.
Gambhir’s track record as a player and coach/mentor reflects that he knows what it takes to win big tournaments. Besides three IPL titles with KKR, Gambhir was part of the team under MS Dhoni when India won the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup.
Karthik believes that Gambhir has put things in such proper order at KKR that even if he has to leave the job and take up the role of India’s chief coach, KKR remain well placed to excel in the next IPL season as well.
“I think he has really built a good (KKR) team, one that will have a lot of players retained and he has left them in a very, very good place. And if he gets the opporunity (India coach), I really wish he takes it. Being part of the national team and the patriotism that he has, I think he will definitely be tempted to take it and I really wish he comes in because he will infuse that winning culture he has infused here (at KKR),” reckoned Gambhir.
“India would do very well under him because I feel he has that fire that is required.
“When it comes to KKR, whenever he is back (after stint as India coach), they will take him back with open arms. But I do believe he has left Shreyas Iyer and the team in a much better place than it was when he took it (mentorship role).”
Former New Zealand pace Simon Doul was also part of the discussion on Cricbuzz, and fully agreed with Karthik’s opinion.
“Those (Gambhir) are the kind of people you want at the helm — highly respected, tough. He is a tough character, but I think he is very fair character and I think he’ll do a great job if he were to take over, if he were to accept the role,” said Doull.
The tenure of current India coach, Rahul Dravid, will end after the T20 World Cup in June.

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