Updated June 3rd, 2024 at 00:00 IST

'He knows what to do. He is good': Former opener backs Gautam Gambhir to become India coach

Amidst speculation, Gambhir's name has emerged prominently in discussions about Rahul Dravid's successor.

Gautam Gambhir after KKR's win | Image:X
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Former opener WV Raman has endorsed Gautam Gambhir as the new head coach for Team India. Gambhir, who recently guided the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their third IPL title, is seen as a strong candidate to succeed Rahul Dravid, whose contract as head coach will expire in July after the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Rahul Dravid, appointed as the head coach of the Indian men's cricket team in 2021, is set to depart after the tournament, prompting the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to seek his replacement. Amidst speculation, Gambhir's name has emerged prominently in discussions, and Raman believes he is a fitting choice for the role.

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Also Read: 'Pant is a better WK than Samson': Gavaskar's verdict on India's First-Choice WK for the 2024 T20 WC

WV Raman backs Gautam Gambhir

WV Raman expressed confidence in Gambhir's capabilities, highlighting his strategic acumen and leadership skills. "He will definitely be somebody who knows what to do. What he will deliver and not is something I cannot predict since I don't have a crystal ball in my hand," Raman remarked.

"But, as far as his acumen is concerned, he is good. He has also been a good captain in the IPL, and he is a good strategist," he added, acknowledging Gambhir's successful stint as an IPL captain, which showcases his potential as a coach.

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Raman also emphasized the importance of cohesion between the coach and the team. "It's all about things coming together when you are coaching a side and how quickly everybody (coaches) settles down with the boys and the boys with his ways of doing things. So, that's where the key lies, generally."

Also Read: 'We have not really nailed down what batting unit will look like': Rohit Sharma 3 days before T20 WC

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WV Raman talks about India's squad for T20 World Cup 2024

India have picked Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal for the ICC marquee event that has started in the Americas.

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"Let's not forget that a lot of thought would have gone into it. There must have been enough rationale and thinking behind those additions. Whatever you get to see on the West Indies pitches these days is more conducive to spinners," Raman, who has played 11 Tests and 27 ODIs, told PTI.

"Also, the fact that the spinners have done well in the IPL on good hard-flat tracks in India has prompted them (selectors) to think that you are better off with spinners rather than fast bowlers and then ask them to take the pace off," he added.

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For the record, Chahal took 18 wickets from 15 matches (economy: 9.41), Kuldeep (16 wickets, 8.65), Axar (11, 7.65) and Jadeja (8, 7.85) in the IPL.

India hasn't won the T20 World Cup since its triumph in the inaugural edition in 2007 under MS Dhoni.

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Raman said the team has a great chance of ending the drought this term, thanks to some brilliant talents in the side.

"It has a very good chance. We have a lot of brilliant cricketers who can be match-winners on their days," he reckoned.

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"It's just a case of a few little things coming together. T20 is such a format where you need a bit of luck as well, especially in the knockouts and that's where experience also counts, which we have aplenty in the side." With India playing its World Cup openers just 10 days after the IPL, Raman stated that the narrow gap will not bother the players.

"Sometimes we say 'it's not enough', sometimes we say 'it's too long of a break and they are not in touch'. So, there is no solution that is appreciated by everybody," he added.

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"But today's cricketers are fit enough and more or less used to playing non-stop. So, they will manage." India will face Ireland in their World Cup opener on Wednesday in New York at the Nassau County stadium. Raman supported the idea of taking cricket to wider destinations.

"I think that is something that the ICC will consider. It will not be overlooked by them," he offered.

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"Obviously, they will look at as many cost-effective measures and innovations to get more teams into the fold and venues under their bracket." 

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Published June 3rd, 2024 at 00:00 IST