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On Reports Of Gautam Gambhir Becoming Next India Coach, Anil Kumble’s ‘Different’ Verdict

The hunt for the next Indian cricket team head coach is underway and former captain Gautam Gambhir has emerged as one of the favourities for the job, according to media reports. Under Gambhir’s mentorship, Kolkata Knight Riders clinched the IPL 2024 title and reports claim that the BCCI is currently in conversation with Gambhir in their hunt for Rahul Dravid’s successor. Former India head coach Anil Kumble praised Gambhir but said that coaching the national side is a completely different challenge.

“You need somebody with a strong demeanour, and you want continuity,” Kumble told ESPNCricinfo.

“Rahul has done a fantastic job, and hopefully, for him and India’s sake, he has a swansong with the World Cup. What you also have to keep in mind is that some of the senior players are coming towards the backend of their careers. You need players who go through the transition period and ensure India doesn’t miss out the quality in the bowling and batting department. You pick and choose and transition through.”

“You have to give it time. He certainly is capable. We have seen Gautam handle teams. He has been a captain for India, for his franchise, for Delhi. He has all the credentials to be that. But Indian team’s coaching is slightly different, you have to give him time to settle in. Like I mentioned, in case he takes up the job, he will have the task of looking at not just the current lot, but also the future of Indian cricket.” 

Gambhir is familiar with most of the senior players in the Indian cricket team right now along with some of the young stars like Rinku Singh. However, Kumble believes that the familiarity will not be a major factor.

“Today, you have been a part of the system in some form or the other. Whether you’re a coach or player, you’ve played with them or been associated with them on some form or the other. It doesn’t matter that much. What you look at is the candidature and not whether this particular coach has a background of playing with the players,” said Kumble.

“I think it’s important to choose the right candidate in terms of what they can bring to the Indian team, and someone who has the stature and the credibility to handle the certain situations in the game. Someone who is not afraid to take those calls.”

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