'Gautam Gambhir's observation of Rohit Sharma proved accurate; his golden gesture for Virat Kohli…': Childhood coach

July 11,2024

For newly-appointed India head coach Gautam Gambhir, it's an absolute honour to serve the tricolour in the high-profile position. Masterminding the third title triumph of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, Gambhir became an outright favourite to replace Rahul Dravid as India's next head coach. After Dravid bid farewell to Rohit Sharma's Team India by ending their long wait for a World Cup title, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) welcomed Gambhir as his successor on Tuesday.

The Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape, and Sulakshana Naik, unanimously recommended Gambhir for the high-profile job at Team India. As the two-time World Cup winner is set to fill Dravid's huge boots, Gambhir's childhood coach, Sanjay Bharadwaj, believes the ex-India opener has the quality to bring the best out of his players. Bhardwaj feels Gambhir has the capability to take Team India to the pinnacle. Gambhir will remain India's head coach across formats for three and a half years.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Gambhir's childhood coach stated that the celebrated ex-cricketer can do the job honestly without bias and bring the best to Indian cricket. According to Bharadwaj, the new India head coach had the winner's mentality since he was 10. Observing that Gambhir always had a sharp and astute observation power, the veteran coach also revealed that he predicted Rohit Sharma's rapid rise during the India captain's initial career stage.

‘Gambhir has played with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’

"He has played with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the past. Long back, he had once given his 'Man of the Match' to Virat. That shows his golden heart. He told me long back that Rohit Sharma will become a great player one day. This was when Rohit was not among the runs and needed some encouragement. His observation about Rohit proved accurate," Bhardwaj said.

No Kohli-Rohit in Gambhir's debut series

Gambhir's first assignment as head coach will be the white-ball series between India and Sri Lanka. Gambhir-coached Team India is expected to miss the services of Rohit and Kohli as the batting icons are tipped to be rested for the Sri Lanka series. Rohit and Kohli called time on their T20I careers after India were crowned World Champions in the Caribbean last month. Kohli and Rohit will continue playing the traditional formats in the Gambhir era.