The BCCI are reportedly deliberating over having a new T20I full-time captain in Hardik Pandya and releasing some of the pressure of T20I captaincy off of Rohit Sharma, while also looking to build for the future with Pandya as their point-man in white-ball cricket. This could well be the case going forward in regards to the head coach Rahul Dravid.
India’s failures to reach the finals of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup, in particular, the way they went out of those tournaments – losses to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Asia Cup, and the 10-wicket thumping by England in T20 WC – have raised question and scrutiny on Dravid’s ability to coach the T20I team forward, especially with the other two formats taking precedence this year.
Should the BCCI looks to move toward a specialist T20I coach for Team India, one name that has popped up in our mind is that of former India batsman and former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir. Currently associated with Lucknow Super Giants as a mentor, Gambhir’s case is strong as a contender for India’s T20I coach.
Here are 3 reasons why Gautam Gambhir would be an ideal T20I coach for Team India:
Gambhir understands modern T20 cricket
Over the past 10 years, since T20 cricket has boomed, India have had Duncan Fletcher, Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble, and Dravid as the coaches. Of them, Kumble played in a couple of early IPL seasons, and Dravid played in the IPL till 2013.
Gambhir, not only played in the IPL till as recent as 2018, but also led KKR to their only two IPL titles. The former opener has always been vocal about how T20 cricket is different from ODI cricket, and hence, there is an increase in players specializing in this particular format. The 41-year-old understands and reads the T20 game like very few in Indian cricket do.
Gambhir has the gall to drop senior players
Gambhir recently made a bold comment, of saying that he’s isn’t sure whether the senior top-order top of Rohit, KL Rahul, and Kohli fit in India’s best T20I XI anymore. For this, there were various reactions from all corners.
But, one thing has always been clear: there is no former Indian cricket who gives his bold opinions – in particular about dropping two biggest names in Indian cricket – than Gambhir. He even said there shouldn’t be any big shock if these senior batters are even dropped from the shortest format.
“We make too much of a hue and cry when the selectors and management look beyond certain individuals. Ultimately, it’s not about the individuals, but how you want to go about your plans for the next [T20] World Cup [in 2024], because you want to go in there and win it. If these guys haven’t been able to achieve that, I think you never know,” Gambhir said.
This is the kind of boldness in decision making a T20 coach should have, and Gambhir is packed up with.
Gambhir believes in keeping stability in team and giving long rope to players
Gambhir has often raised the issue why someone as talented as Sanju Samson has played only a handful of games for India despite making his India debut back in 2016. This is because Samson never got a long, consistent run at the national team.
This has happened with other players too over the past 4-5 years in the national side. With Gambhir at helm, one this is for certain, that he will give players a long rope, giving them most matches to fail before dropping them.