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Gautam Gambhir Becomes Youngest Head Coach of Indian Cricket Team at 42

Gautam Gambhir, at just 42 years old, has made history by becoming the youngest head coach of the Indian cricket team. His appointment follows Rahul Dravid’s decision not to extend his tenure after the T20 World Cup. While VVS Laxman was initially in contention, opting to remain at the National Cricket Academy cleared the way for Gambhir’s uncontested rise to the coaching helm.

Gambhir’s journey to this role saw unexpected developments over the past several months. After resigning as mentor of IPL franchise Lucknow Super Giants last November, he returned to his former team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), where he had previously led them to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. His successful stint with KKR garnered attention, rekindling discussions about his potential as a national team coach.

Despite initially tepid attention to his coaching credentials, Gambhir’s stature grew as KKR’s performance surged, leading to his inevitable appointment as head coach.

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir

The selection process involved the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issuing a call for applications and reviewing candidates through its Advisory Committee (CAC). Gambhir’s candidacy stood unchallenged, given his impressive track record and vision for advancing Indian cricket.

A stylish left-handed batsman in his playing days, Gambhir debuted for India in 2003 and distinguished himself as one of the country’s finest openers across formats. Notably, his resilient innings in 2009 against New Zealand, where he batted for 436 balls to score 137, played a pivotal role in India saving the Test match after being forced to follow on.

His contributions in high-stakes matches, such as the T20 World Cup final in 2007 and the ODI World Cup final in 2011, further underscored his impact on Indian cricket.

Gambhir’s appointment shows a preference for Indian coaches who deeply understand the country’s cricket culture. He values team performance over individual stars. Now, he faces the challenge of managing the team’s dynamics, overseeing changes, and handling a busy cricket schedule. Gambhir aims to maintain and improve India’s cricketing legacy amidst high expectations.

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