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‘I would love to coach the Indian team’: Gautam Gambhir breaks silence

Dubai, June 2: Amidst rumors suggesting he is a leading candidate for the chief coach post, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir on Sunday expressed his interest in taking over the reins of the national side from Rahul Dravid. Speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi, Gambhir emphasised that, “there is no bigger honour than coaching the national team”.

“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 Indian. Gambhir, who has garnered renewed attention after a triumphant return to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as a mentor in IPL 2024, is now a hot favourite to succeed Dravid as the head coach of Team India following the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.

His leadership at KKR has been widely praised, contributing to his rising profile as a top coaching candidate. At the event, a student asked Gambhir about his potential role as the coach of the Indian cricket team and his experience in guiding teams to World Cup victories. Gambhir’s response was both humble and insightful. He shared that although he had previously refrained from addressing the question, he felt compelled to answer this time.

“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,” Gambhir said. During his personal trip to the UAE, Gambhir visited the sports medicine department at Medeor Hospital, where he met young cricket enthusiasts from various academies in Abu Dhabi. He shared insights from his inspiring journey, recounting his pivotal role in India’s victories at the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 ODI World Cup.

Gambhir’s recent success with KKR has added another feather to his cap, showcasing his ability to foster a positive and winning environment. “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,” Gambhir said, attributing his success to creating a supportive and joyful atmosphere for the players.

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