File photo of Gautam Gambhir.© BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed Gautam Gambhir as the head coach of the senior men’s cricket team on Tuesday. Ever since Gambhir took the post left vacant by Rahul Dravid, whose tenure ended with the conclusion of T20 World Cup 2024, there have been a lot of reports regarding the coaching support staff that are yet to be named. In a latest development, it is being reported that Gambhir asked for Jonty Rhodes to be included as fielding coach for Team India, but the board turned down the request.

The report was published by Hindustan Times, which also stated that the BCCI wants to keep an all-Indian support staff.

It is worth noting that all the tenure of all the support staff — batting coach Vikram Rathour, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, and fielding coach T Dilip — ended with that of Rahul Dravid’s reign as India head coach. However, the board’s reported plan to keep an all-Indian support staff means that Dilip might continue as India fielding coach.

With Gambhir assuming the role of head coach, he inherits a formidable India men’s team that recently secured victory in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 and made notable runners-up appearances in the 2023 ODI World Cup and World Test Championship. As he embarks on his stint until 2027, Gambhir faces a multitude of challenges.

The first challenge Gambhir faces is to find his footing and build camaraderie in a dressing room with players he was previously teammates with — like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli among others.

Gambhir’s route to becoming the head coach of the Indian team has involved taking on mentorship roles in the IPL, despite lacking substantial coaching experience beforehand. This was also the case for Ravi Shastri and Anil Kumble when they were appointed to the top job in the Indian team.

Under Gambhir’s mentorship, Lucknow Super Giants entered playoffs in consecutive seasons. He then switched to mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders – the team he led to two IPL titles – and got them the trophy in May.

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(With IANS Inputs)

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