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HomeSports UpdateHow Gautam Gambhir Turned Around KKR's Fortunes In IPL 2024

How Gautam Gambhir Turned Around KKR’s Fortunes In IPL 2024

It isn’t often that the mentor of a franchise gets credited emphatically for the team’s performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Even before the 2024 edition of the T20 league concluded, a mentor whose stocks had soared was Gautam Gambhir. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) emerged as the strongest team from the league stage of the campaign, as cricket analysts, fans and former players started to sing praises for the former India opener. KKR’s lopsided victory in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad confirmed Gambhir’s status as a tactician who masterminded the team’s rampant run in the 17th edition of IPL.

But, what made Gambhir so influential at KKR. It isn’t often that excellent coaches or mentors deliver at every team they go, but for Gambhir, the Knight Riders were the perfect fit. Be it the management of the franchise, the group of players, or simply the faith the owners showed in him, it felt like Gambhir was the only missing piece in the jigsaw for KKR.

How Gautam Gambhir Turned Around KKR’s Fortunes in IPL 2024?

Unwavering support:

For someone like Gautam Gambhir, it doesn’t matter if you are an international player or an Indian player or a domestic cricketer. If the player is worth backing, Gambhir believes in giving him a longer rope, a couple of matches in the team doesn’t cut it for the Knight Riders mentor.

Such support from Gambhir also sees him get the best out of an Uncapped player. The examples of Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora and Angkrish Raghuvanshi are there to see from this season.

Creating Winning Atmosphere:

Sunil Narine wasn’t among the most fancied KKR stars before the start of the season. Everyone thought his days of opening are behind him but Gambhir had other ideas. The former KKR captain convinced the West Indian all-rounder to open the innings for the franchise again. Though Narine is said to have had his doubts, he delivered on the liberty given to him by Gambhir.

Narine himself revealed that Gambhir asked him to ‘win KKR a few games, not the entire season’, and that was the best advice he had received.

Gambhir has led the Delhi state team to the Ranji Trophy title, and then he led KKR to two IPL trophies. Gambhir understands the atmosphere that is required for a team to emerge victorious. And, he successfully created that at KKR this season.

No Importance to Individual Achievements:

An out-and-out team man, Gambhir isn’t known as a person who gives importance to individual achievements. For him ‘Orange Cap’ or the ‘Purple Cap,’ don’t hold much importance, it’s about the team goal, which is winning the IPL trophy.

The Power Of ‘Faith’:

One of the biggest traits of Gambhir’s leadership structure is giving role clarity to players, backing the youngsters. In IPL 2024 season, Gambhir recreated that old atmosphere. Narine, again, is one of the prime examples. For the past few seasons, he would get out for cheap but this time, he emerged among the leading run-scorers and bagged the MVP award.

Phil Salt, a replacement signing for Jason Roy, replaced Rahmanullah Gurbaz as KKR’s first-choice keeper despite being a late signing. Salt rewarded Gambhir, repaying the faith shown in him. Ramandeep Singh, Harshit Rana are some of the other examples, who thrived on role allotted to them at KKR. They weren’t among the hot picks at the auction last year.

Gambhir was even trolled for backing Mitchell Starc, KKR’s 24.75 crore buy, but he persisted with him and the Australian pacer delivered when it mattered the most.

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