Gautam Gambhir appointed India men’s cricket head coach

Gautam Gambhir has been appointed Rahul Dravid’s successor as the India men’s cricket team’s head coach.

Updated - July 09, 2024 09:08 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2024 08:45 pm IST - New Delhi

Newly appointed Indian head coach Gautam Gambhir with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah.

Newly appointed Indian head coach Gautam Gambhir with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. | Photo Credit: X/@JayShah

Gautam Gambhir, the former India opening batter, has been appointed Rahul Dravid’s successor as the India men’s cricket team’s head coach. Gambhir, in his first international coaching assignment, has been handed a long rope, having been handed charge of the team till the end of 2027.

“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,” Jay Shah, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, wrote on his personal social media handle on Tuesday.

“His clear vision for Team India, 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.”

Ever since Dravid decided against continuing in his role after the T20 World Cup, Gambhir was touted to be the frontrunner for the coach’s post soon after he returned to Kolkata Knight Riders as its mentor for the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 2024 edition.

Having severed ties after serving as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament, Gambhir and former India women’s head coach W. V. Raman were interviewed by the Cricket Advisory Committee headed by Ashok Malhotra on June 19.

The Hindu understands that the CAC interview was a mere formality with Gambhir having been promised the top job by the BCCI hierarchy even before the applications were invited in May.

Gambhir’s first assignment will be India’s limited overs’ tour to Sri Lanka, starting the end of July. It will be interesting to see how he gels with the squad. Murmurs of a group of senior cricketers having been uncomfortable with his appointment had been doing the rounds during the triumphant T20 World Cup campaign.

Besides earning the confidence of the dressing room, Gambhir — having only been involved in guiding IPL outfits — will have a tumultuous task of succeeding across formats and planning for the future.

The preparations for the T20 World Cup title defence in 2026 will take a backseat with the Indian team set to play 10 Test matches in the next six months before heading into the 2025 Champions Trophy.

It will be interesting to see if Gambhir, understood to have been shared a long list of his preferred support staff, will be able to get his way around to help him plan better.

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