Gautam Gambhir Set To Replace Dravid as Head Coach, But Has One Major Condition

Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid’s tenure as Team India’s head coach concludes after the T20 World Cup 2024 and the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) continues its hunt for a new candidate who can prove to be a perfect replacement.

In recent times, several prominent former cricketers (including Indians and foreigners) have come forward as promising contenders. Out of which, VVS Laxman and Gautam Gambhir were the most noteworthy retired Indian cricketers, whose names emerged on top of the list.

Although Gautam Gambhir is keen to take the job of India’s head coach, he has one condition before filling out the application form. The latest reports highlight the fact that the former Indian left-handed batter will be ready to apply for the post only if he is provided with the selection guarantee. In other words, he doesn’t want to be just an applicant for the head coach’s post. As a result, Gambhir demands complete certainty of selection as a replacement for Rahul Dravid.

Especially, Gautam Gambhir’s recent success as the mentor of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2024, makes him the prime choice for BCCI. It was under Gambhir’s guidance, that KKR lifted the IPL trophy after a long period of 10 years.

At the same time, there are certain challenges that the 42-year-old former Indian cricketer might face if he takes up the role of Head coach.

Challenges for Gautam Gambhir As Team India Head Coach

Here are a few challenges Gautam Gambhir might face, if he becomes Team India’s head coach:

Step Down as KKR Mentor:

Gautam Gambhir might have to leave mentoring KKR after just one season if he becomes the head coach of the Indian cricket team. According to the BCCI’s rule, a coach associated with the Indian cricket team neither can work with any IPL team nor do any commentary in the tournament. The same rule applies to the India A and Under-19 teams coaches as well.

Moreover, KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) maintains a deep bond with Gambhir. In such scenarios, it wouldn’t be easy for Gautam Gambhir to leave an IPL team that has been a part of his identity and opened up a huge reputation for him in recent times.

Mainly, the victory for KKR added another bonus to the franchise and Gautam Gambhir’s legacy, which also points out that SRK wouldn’t be willing to allow the 3-time IPL-winning Gambhir to walk away from his team.

Stay Away From Home:

There are chances that Gautam Gambhir might stay away from home since the job of the head coach is full-time for three-and-half years. If he gets appointed, Gambhir could become the highest-paid head coach in the history of Indian cricket. Also, his stint will conclude only after the ODI World Cup 2027.

Aggressive Nature:

At times, Gautam Gambhir becomes aggressive which cannot be accepted by the current senior players in the team and possibly may lead to heated arguments both on-field and off-field.

Foreigners’ Chances to Become Team India Head Coach

According to the latest news, none of the foreigners have applied for Team India’s head coach position. Particularly, after BCCI secretary Jay Shah made it clear that the Board is searching for an Indian candidate who has progressed through various levels. Also, they should have a deep knowledge of domestic cricket to coach Team India on a long-term basis till the ICC ODI World Cup 2027.

Earlier, several reports stated that BCCI contacted the ex-foreign cricketers namely Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer, but they turned down the offer. Later, the Board clarified that the rumours spread like wildfire.

At the same time, the BCCI didn’t deny the fact of having a conversation with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming. Moreover, it isn’t confirmed if Fleming has applied for the post or not. Furthermore, the former New Zealand cricketer will have to leave his current job in CSK, if he joins the Indian cricket team as head coach.

Conclusion:

Rahul Dravid’s contract as Team India’s Head Coach concluded after the ODI World Cup 2023. However, the BCCI decided to grant him a short-term extension till the T20 World Cup in June 2024, hoping to find an ideal replacement within six months.

Also, Gautam Gambhir and BCCI secretary Jay Shah had a friendly conversation after the IPL 2024 final on May 26th (Sunday). The last date to apply for the Team India Head coach’s role concluded on May 27 and there isn’t any official statement either from Gambhir or Jay Shah.

It is understood that there is no specific information available about how many potential candidates have submitted their names for the role.

Although the timeline has concluded, the BCCI wouldn’t mind taking some more extra time before reaching an effective decision.

Currently, the team is preparing for the upcoming T20 World Cup. After the tournament, a few senior players will be rested for the Sri Lankan and Zimbabwe tours. During this period, the NCA-based senior coaches can accompany the team until a perfect successor for Team India is identified.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *