Former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir has made a never-before-heard revelation that he had apologized to former teammate and opening partner Brendon McCullum ahead of the IPL 2012 final against CSK in Chennai.
Gautam Gambhir explains that McCullum had to be excluded from the playing XI because of an injury to fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji ahead of the final. KKR decided to replace Balaji with Australian Bret Lee, but that meant that McCullum had to be replaced with an Indian batter to maintain the quota of four overseas players, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, and Jaques Kallis being three undroppable overseas players.
In a video posted on his Instagram, Gautam Gambhir revealed this story of him apologizing to McCullum for excluding him from the XI due to the unfortunate injury to Balaki. Gambhir said he did this in front of the entire team before leaving for the ground.
“Before leaving for that final at Chepauk, I actually said sorry to Brendon McCullum in front of the entire team. I said ‘I am really really sorry I had to drop you. The reason is not your performance, the reason is our combination.’ No one wanted to do that. But I had the courage to apologize to him in front of the whole team. Nothing wrong in apologizing,” Gambhir recalled.
As it turned out, this chopping and changing in the XI came as a blessing in disguise for KKR as Manvinder Bisla replaced McCullum at the top and smashed 89 runs in 48 balls, helping KKR secure their maiden IPL trophy.
Leadership is not only about taking appreciation: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir, who would go on to captain KKR to another IPL trophy two years later, said he would have lived with guilt had he not apologized to McCullum.
“Had I not apologized in front of the entire team, somewhere deep inside my heart, I would have had that guilt that I have not communicated well enough. Leadership is not only about taking appreciation or shutting yourself off or taking credit. It’s about doing this stuff as well. Sometimes it’s awkward but that’s how you grow as a leader,” Gambhir added.
Watch the video here:
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After leaving KKR ahead of IPL 2018, Gambhir is reunited with the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, now in the form of a mentor.