File image of Gautam Gambhir (left) and Virat Kohli.© BCCI/Sportzpics

Former India cricketer and reputed pundit Aakash Chopra has stated that the most important responsibility lying on the shoulders of new Team India head coach Gautam Gambhir is to ensure a smooth transition after the 2025 Champions Trophy. Indian captain Rohit Sharma and stalwart Virat Kohli will be 37 and 36 years old respectively after the Champions Trophy, and Chopra believes the onus is on Gambhir to figure out whether they should still be part of the ODI set-up come the 2027 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Gambhir was officially announced as the new head coach of Team India on Tuesday, taking over from Rahul Dravid after India won the 2024 T20 World Cup. Chopra also mentioned that Gambhir has a huge legacy to carry forward, left behind by Dravid.

“ODI cricket will be a 50-50. What after the Champions Trophy? The next World Cup is in 2027, so the transition will start after the Champions Trophy itself. He will have to figure it out” stated Chopra.

“The truth is we are talking about players whose names come among the greatest of all time. So they would also know when and how to leave, and whether they can stay till 2027,” Chopra added.

Chopra implied that balancing the situation of moving on the old guard and growing the new will be a step that Gambhir needs to take delicately. Chopra also mentioned that Gambhir has been saved the headache in the shortest format, as Kohli, Rohit and Ravindra Jadeja announced their T20I retirements after the World Cup win.

“India have reached the finals of the last three ICC events. Dravid has left behind a fantastic legacy. Rohit Sharma also wrote a huge post about that legacy. Maintaining and taking the legacy forward will be a challenging task (for Gambhir),” Chopra expressed.

Gambhir’s first assignment as India coach comes in the form of a white-ball series against Sri Lanka in late July.

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