Gautam Gambhir interviewed for India head coach job

Is Gambhir the right person to become India's head coach?

Is Gambhir the right person to become India's head coach?

Anil Kumble assesses Gautam Gambhir's credentials to succeed Rahul Dravid

Gautam Gambhir, the favorite to replace Rahul Dravid as India's men's head coach, has officially applied for the job and attended an interview on Tuesday, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. Gambhir interacted with the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which is the panel tasked by the BCCI to shortlist candidates.

CAC includes former Indian cricketers Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape And Sulakshana Naik. It was not possible to confirm the number of applications received by the BCCI.

The BCCI, which had set May 27 as the deadline to apply for the post, had held informal discussions with Gambhir during IPL 2024, when he helped Kolkata Knight Riders win their third title after returning to the franchise as a mentor in November 2023.

The KKR job was Gambhir's second stint in a coaching role; he had been a mentor at Lucknow Super Giants during the 2022 and 2023 IPL seasons, helping the team qualify for the playoffs both times.

Gambhir had sought time to take a final call during the IPL, but speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi on June 1, he expressed his desire to coach India. “Look, I would love to coach the Indian team,” Gambhir said. “There is no greater honor. There is no greater honor than coaching your national team. You represent 140 million Indians. And more across the world too. And when you represent India, how can it get bigger than that?”

Gautam Gambhir mentored Kolkata Knight Riders to their third IPL title TAXI

He had responded to a question about whether he saw himself helping India win a World Cup.

“How can I help India win the World Cup? I think it's not me who will help India win the World Cup, it's 140 million Indians who will help India win the World Cup. win the World Cup,” Gambhir said. “If everyone starts praying for us and we start playing and representing them, India will win the World Cup. The most important thing is to be fearless and yes, I would love to coach India.”

Gambhir emerged as the frontrunner for the job after his former India teammate VVS Laxman told the BCCI last year that he was not interested in the head coaching job. Laxman is currently the Director of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bangalore.

Dravid had taken over from Ravi Shastri after the T20 World Cup in November 2021, initially signing for two years till the 2023 ODI World Cup. He later accepted the BCCI's request to extend his tenure till the 2023 ODI World Cup. World T20 underway.

The BCCI had said that the new head coach would be appointed for for three and a half yearsfrom July 2024 to December 2027, and would lead the team in all three formats.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an editor at ESPNcricinfo

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