1 Jun 2024

Cricket: Will Gautam Gambhir Replace Rahul Dravid as Team India Head Coach? What Led to Speculation?

The search for Rahul Dravid's successor as the head coach of the Indian men's cricket team is nearing its end, with Gautam Gambhir reportedly poised to assume the role. Gambhir's name has been circulating in Indian cricket circles, bolstered by his successful stint as a mentor for an IPL 2024 franchise. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also shown interest in prominent Australian candidates and other IPL coaches like Stephen Fleming and Andy Flower. However, Gambhir appears to be the frontrunner.

Gambhir's candidacy gained traction following Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) outstanding performance in the IPL 2024. KKR topped the league stage and later clinched the title by defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. After the final, Gambhir had an extended conversation with BCCI secretary Jay Shah, which further fueled speculation about his future role.

Gambhir is now set to replace Dravid as Team India's head coach. He recently transitioned from his role as a mentor for Lucknow Super Giants to KKR, another IPL team, where his guidance led to their championship victory this year. Despite lacking experience as a head coach at the national or IPL level, his recent achievements have reportedly convinced the BCCI of his suitability for the position. Gambhir's role in taking KKR to IPL triumph this year was reportedly enough for the BCCI to seriously consider his name as Dravid's successor.

The BCCI had invited applications for the head coach position by May 27 and received over 3,000 applications, including some humorous submissions from fake 'Sachin Tendulkars', 'Narendra Modis', and 'Amit Shahs'. The interview process for shortlisted candidates is expected to commence soon, led by the Cricket Advisory Committee.

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