Gautam Gambhir: India’s next head coach?

Former India batter Gautam Gambhir has said he would “love to coach” the national team amid speculation that he is front-runner for the high-profile job.

Gambhir recently guided Kolkata Knight Riders to their third IPL title and is seen as an able successor to Rahul Dravid, whose contract expires after the ongoing T20 World Cup.

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The deadline to apply for the head coach’s role was May 27 but it is still not clear if Gambhir has submitted his application.

“I would love to coach the Indian team. There is no bigger honour than coaching your national team. You are representing 140 crore Indians and those across the globe as well,” said the 42-year-old at an event in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Earlier this week, former India captain Sourav Ganguly had backed Gambhir for the India head coach role, saying “he is a good candidate”.

Gambhir was addressing a gathering of students at Medeor Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

When one of the students asked him about coaching the Indian cricket team and helping them win the World Cup with his experience, Gambhir responded, “I have not answered this question, although lot of people have asked me. But I have to answer you now.

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“It is 140 crore Indians who will help India win the World Cup. 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,” said Gambhir.

The former opener, who was on a personal trip to the UAE, paid a visit to the sports medicine department at the Medeor Hospital.

During the visit, he connected with young cricket enthusiasts from different academies in Abu Dhabi, and shared insights on his inspiring journey, and recent achievements.

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Gambhir, who was a key member of the Indian team that won the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 ODI World Cup, was praised for his recent success with the KKR.

“A secure dressing room is a happy dressing room, and a happy dressing room ends up in a winning dressing room. The only thing I did in the KKR was following this mantra. With God’s grace it actually worked,” he said.

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