Change of Guard: Gambhir era begins in Indian cricket; BCCI says expects tenacity from new coach

Dravid quit the post after India's recent T20 World Cup triumph

Gautam Gambhir appointed head coach Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir | Salil Bera

World Cup-winning former opener Gautam Gambhir was on Tuesday named head coach of the Indian cricket team by the BCCI, which hoped that he would bring "tenacity and leadership" to the position that was held with "remarkable success" by Rahul Dravid until recently.

The 42-year-old left-hander, who played a key role in India's 2011 ODI World Cup triumph, was the front-runner to replace Dravid whose tenure ended with the country's triumph in the T20 World Cup in Barbados last month.

Gambhir's first assignment as India coach will be the of tour Sri Lanka for three T20Is and as many ODIs starting July 27.

"The Board would like to thank former Head Coach, Mr Rahul Dravid for his brilliant run with the team. Team India now embarks on a journey under a new coach Mr Gautam Gambhir," said BCCI President Roger Binny in an elaborate statement.

The Board stated that the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjpe and Sulakshana Naik on Tuesday unanimously recommended Gambhir.

"His appointment as Head Coach marks a new chapter for Indian cricket. His experience, dedication, and vision for the game make him the ideal candidate to guide our team forward.

"We are confident that under his leadership, Team India will continue to excel and make the nation proud," Binny.

The sentiment was echoed by Bard secretary Jay Shah.

"The baton now passes on to Mr Gautam Gambhir who will don the role of Head Coach from the forthcoming series in Sri Lanka," he said.

"Gambhir has been a fierce competitor and a brilliant strategist. We believe he will bring the same tenacity and leadership to his role as Head Coach. His transition to the role of Head Coach is a natural progression, and I believe he will bring out the best in our players.

Shah said he expects Gambhir to inspire and lead the team to new heights.

"His vision for the future of Indian cricket aligns perfectly with our goals, and we are excited about the journey ahead," he added.

As a player, Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. He then proved his coaching credentials as the mentor of the KKR team that won the IPL title in 2024.

"It is an absolute honour to serve my tricolour, my people, my country," said Gambhir in a BCCI statement.

"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Rahul Dravid and his team of support staff for their exemplary run with the team. I am honoured and excited to take on the role of Head Coach for Team India.

"I have always taken pride while donning the Indian jersey during my playing days and it is going to be no different when I take up this new role.

Gambhir said he looks forward to working closely with the BCCI, Head of Cricket VVS Laxman, the support staff, and, "most importantly, the players, as we work towards achieving success in the upcoming tournaments."

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