India News

BCCI appoints Gautam Gambhir as new head coach of Indian national team

BCCI appoints Gautam Gambhir as new head coach of Indian national team
Image via BCCI

In a significant development for Indian cricket, Gautam Gambhir has been appointed as the new head coach of the Indian national team, succeeding Rahul Dravid. The announcement was made by BCCI secretary Jay Shah via X (formerly Twitter), marking a new chapter in Indian cricket leadership.

New head coach of the Indian national team’s time to begin from white-ball tour of Sri Lanka

Gambhir’s first assignment as head coach will be the white-ball tour of Sri Lanka, which includes three ODIs and three T20Is later this month. Expressing his honor in serving India again in a different role, Gambhir stated his aim is to make every Indian proud.

In a press release, the BCCI also confirmed the end of tenures for assistant coaches Vikram Rathour, Paras Mhambrey, and T Dilip, acknowledging their contributions and wishing them the best for the future.

Gambhir, 42, steps into the role with India coming off a period of notable success, including being finalists in the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup last year, and holding the title of T20 World Champions. India is also on track to reach their third successive World Test Championship final next year.

This appointment comes during a transition period for the Indian team, with the retirements of key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja from T20Is, and the potential nearing end of careers for senior players like R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami in other formats.

Gambhir’s term as head coach will span from July until December 2027, covering all three formats of the game. The BCCI had set a deadline for head coach applications as May 27, with discussions with Gambhir taking place during IPL 2024, where he mentored Kolkata Knight Riders to the title. Prior to KKR, Gambhir was a mentor for Lucknow Super Giants during IPL 2022 and 2023, guiding them to playoff finishes in both seasons.

New head coach of Indian national team’s past experience

Although Gambhir’s coaching roles have been limited, his playing career is decorated with significant achievements, including crucial roles in India’s victories in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup. He also captained KKR to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. Gambhir expressed his desire to coach India after IPL 2024, describing it as the biggest honor and emphasizing the importance of being fearless and representing 140 crore Indians.

Gambhir became the frontrunner for the position after VVS Laxman declined interest in the job, choosing to continue his role as the director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy and interim coach for India’s T20I series in Zimbabwe.

Rahul Dravid, whose tenure began post-2021 T20 World Cup, led India until the end of the 2023 ODI World Cup, and extended his role until the end of the T20 World Cup 2024, securing India’s first ICC trophy since 2013. As Gambhir takes over, the cricketing fraternity eagerly anticipates his impact on the Indian team’s future.