Gautam Gambhir Overshadowing Shreyas Iyer’s Achievements in IPL?

Shreyas Iyer’s led teams have stormed into the IPL final twice in the last four years as the skipper of Delhi Capitals (DC) in 2020 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR ) in 2024. Recently, KKR clinched its 3rd trophy under Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy by achieving a thumping victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 8 wickets in the IPL 2024 finals. At the same time, the KKR skipper has little regret about not being honoured properly as a leader, as the focus completely shifts towards their mentor Gautam Gambhir, thereby overshadowing Iyer’s success

After being sidelined the complete previous season with KKR due to an injury, Shreyas remains a prominent factor in their success this season. However, Gambhir shares the credit since KKR won the trophy three times under his presence (two times as a captain and the third time as a mentor).

Even the former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina heaps praise on the Gambhir stating that the two-time World Cup winner made an essential contribution to KKR’s success in IPL 2024.

Let’s explore why Shreyas Iyer and Suresh Raina believe Gautam Gambhir’s presence as a mentor this season is crucial for KKR’s dominance.

Shreyas Iyer’s Opinion About Gautam Gambhir

Ahead of the IPL final, Shreyas Iyer was asked if he was celebrated less as a KKR captain, and here is what the 29-year-old cricketer said:

“Not at all! You media guys are certainly creating the hype. Currently, the position I stand as a skipper is of course for you to decide. Regarding Gautam Gambhir bhai, I agree that he has acquired immeasurable knowledge about how the game should be played. Previously, he won two IPL titles for KKR and his tactics have been completely accurate in terms of decision-making against the opponent teams.  If all goes well, we will certainly keep moving forward with the same momentum with his experience,” said Iyer during the post-match press conference.

Although Shreyas Iyer didn’t open up about his captaincy style, few other experts and fans would disagree that he led his team from the front. This is because he integrated Gambhir’s plans and translated them into success. He highlights that Gambhir offers his invaluable ideas from the dug-outs in all matches.

Suresh Raina about Gautam Gambhir as KKR Mentor

Speaking to JioCinema, Suresh Raina shares his experience playing with Gautam Gambhir for India and explains the crucial role played in KKR’s rise to prominence this season:

 “ I enjoyed playing with him. We have played a lot of cricket matches with Gautam Gambhir. One of the special talents he carries is not to give up in any situation. After his arrival, we observed the changes in batting order, that resulted in achieving huge returns for the franchise in this season. Especially, during the auction process, Gambhir was actively involved and worked hard to build a perfect combination for the new season. Ultimately, Gambhir’s strategy changed the fortunes of the franchise,” said Suresh Raina.

Shreyas Iyer’s Future Plans: Domestic Cricket and Longer International Formats

Furthermore, Shreyas Iyer reveals some facts about his future of participating in domestic cricket and longer formats of international matches:

“Exactly! The competition is now with me. After the World Cup, I struggled in the longer formats for a few months. At the same time, I wanted to give my best efforts, especially when IPL was approaching. The planning and strategies we implemented before it and accomplishing to the best of our capacity, make us rank where we are right now.

Also, it is a fact that the transition from red ball to white ball cricket is difficult for both batter and bowler. Despite, it being difficult to start, once you get habituated to it, you gradually pick up the rhythm and keep carrying on it with other players. I am happy that we won the final, and I was a part of the team and also my contribution to the final. Most importantly, I want to ensure my participation and play the best cricket as far as possible. All I did was remain in the present and not think too much about the future or selection process.”

Shreyas Iyer’s career in the last six months:

The past six months have been a gruelling journey for the right-handed batter, whose initial unwillingness to play red-ball domestic cricket made him lose the central contract with BCCI. However, Shreyas made a comeback and played in the Ranji Trophy final match against Vidarbha, where he scored 95 runs from 111 balls (including 10 fours and 3 sixes) for Mumbai in the 2nd innings.

Also, Iyer had an average performance in the IPL 2024 season so far and wasn’t able to secure a spot in Team India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Especially, after the ODI World Cup in 2023, Shreyas faced a back injury and performed averagely in the South Africa and home test series against England. As a result, he was dropped from the Indian test cricket team and had to take a break to recover from his back injury.

Conclusion:

In the previous edition, KKR led by Nitish Rana,  finished at the 7th position in the points table. Contrarily, in this season, the inclusion of Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer uplifted KKR’s performance, not only to just conclude as the table toppers but also to lift the IPL trophy for the third time.

Out of the 14 matches in league stages, KKR lost only 3 games and won 9 of them, which includes a no-result as well. With 20 points and +1.428 Net-Run-Rate (NRR), KKR under Gambhir’s guidance comfortably entered the Qualifier 1 round and secured a direct berth in the finals by thrashing SRH with an 8-wicket victory.

Moreover, KKR won all its games this season while chasing targets, which shows the huge depth in the batting line-up. Also, the Knight Riders’ decent bowling performance was completely dominated by the brutal batting performance and it is expected that Gautam Gambhir’s collaboration with the franchise would create a sensation in the upcoming IPL seasons.

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