Gautam Gambhir India coach replacement

Gautam Gambhir

Last Chance for Kohli and Rohit Before Gambhir Takes Over as India Coach

Gautam Gambhir, the front-runner to replace Rahul Dravid as India’s head coach, is prepared to make significant changes to the team, potentially sidelining two of India’s biggest cricket superstars, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, regardless of the outcomes in this World Cup.

India’s cricket-obsessed fans are anxiously awaiting the start of the Super Eights campaign, with Rohit Sharma’s team facing Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup. A poor start could spell trouble, as India must also contend with formidable opponents like Australia and Bangladesh for a spot in the semifinals.

Despite being a team filled with star players, India has failed to secure an ICC tournament victory in over a decade. Anything less than a semifinal berth would be considered a major failure. While the team’s performance in the West Indies remains uncertain, one thing is clear: a new head coach is poised to take over, bringing fresh ideas to the table after the World Cup.

Media reports from India indicate that Gautam Gambhir is set to replace Rahul Dravid as head coach after the tournament. Dravid, who transitioned from coaching at the age-group level to the national team, has struggled to deliver an ICC trophy. Under his tenure, India lost in the semifinals of the 2022 T20 World Cup and in the finals of both the ICC Test Championship and the ODI World Cup last year.

Dravid’s conservative coaching style, reminiscent of his cautious approach as a player, is likely to be replaced by Gambhir’s bold and aggressive tactics. Gambhir, celebrated for his match-winning performances in the finals of the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup, had a relatively brief peak as an international batsman. Nevertheless, his leadership skills, which led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles (2012, 2014) and another as a mentor (2024), have elevated his status.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly pinpointed Gambhir as the ideal candidate to revive India’s fortunes in ICC tournaments. However, Gambhir is expected to make significant roster changes, potentially sidelining veterans like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja from the T20 squad.

With India set to co-host the next T20 World Cup with Sri Lanka in 2026, Gambhir is focused on rebuilding the team with young players who have showcased fearless cricket in the IPL. This strategy echoes India’s approach in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007, when a youthful team under a new captain, MS Dhoni, achieved a historic victory.

Gambhir, one of the stars of that 2007 triumph, is now looking to create a similar impact. However, this vision may not include two of India’s greatest cricket icons, Rohit and Kohli. While these veterans still have significant roles in Test cricket and ODIs, this T20 World Cup represents their last opportunity to break India’s ICC trophy drought.

Both Kohli and Rohit would likely trade all their personal records for another team victory. Yet, if they fail to deliver in the Caribbean, Gambhir will prioritize emerging talent over seasoned stars as he plans for the future. The cricket world waits to see if these legends can rise to the occasion one last time or if Gambhir will usher in a new era for Indian cricket.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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