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Top candidates for Team India’s white-ball coach

Rahul Dravid's tenure to end post ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, some of the top candidates who could be India's white-ball coach.

Gautam Gambhir could be great option for white-ball coach for Team India | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Gautam Gambhir could be a good white-ball option for India (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to invite applications for the post of head coach of Team India as Rahul Dravid’s tenure will end post the 2024 T20 World Cup. Dravid can re-apply for the job if he wishes to. It is possible that India might go for split coaching to manage the different formats of the game. If India do go for split coaching, who are the top candidates to coach India in the shortest format? Let’s have a look.

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has not coached any team, but he has been a mentor for two Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. He mentored Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to third-standing in IPL 2022. Currently, he has been mentoring Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2024, and the Shreyas Iyer-led team is all set to book a play-off berth. 

Gambir has previously captained Kolkata to two IPL titles. He has also been the highest run-scorer in 2007 World T20 final and 2011 ODI World Cup final for India. Hence, Gambhir has the temperament of doing well in knockouts that separate winners from runners-up. 

India, who have failed to win a single ICC trophy since 2013, failing in knockouts especially, could cross this hurdle with Gambhir as coach. The former opener has passed the test with flying colours in knockouts, not only as a player but as a captain as well. And he could replicate it as coach, possibly. 

Besides, Gambhir is a good reader of the game, backs his players, and is brutally honest – something that could come in handy as India’s coach. 

Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar has a rich experience of coaching Team India in different capacities. He has been a batting coach, assistant coach and even interim head coach for Team India. He was also the head coach during a tour to Zimbabwe in 2016. As an assistant coach under head coach Ravi Shastri, India accomplished many batting feats across formats, and achieved success in all formats, however, the ICC title still eluded them. 

Players such as Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have credited Bangar for their growth as batters. He has also coached a few franchises in the IPL. Under his coaching, Punjab Kings (PBKS) entered the final of IPL 2014 that they lost to Kolkata. 

Bangar may start favourite for the race to head coach for white-ball cricket if he does decide to apply. Bangar likes to stay in the background while letting players grab the limelight and that may go in his favour in the race to the top job in Indian cricket.

IPL 2022_ Ashish Nehra, Hardik Pandya celebrating Gujarat Titans' maiden Title in IPL _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_IPL)
Ashish Nehra has taken GT to two finals in two season (Source: ©BCCI/IPL)
Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra is the first India coach to win an IPL title when Gujarat Titans (GT) won the trophy in 2022 under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. Titans ended up runners-up next season in 2023. During these two editions, Nehra came in for praise for his coaching and backing young players to perform to their best. 

Although the 2024 season has not gone well as expected, Nehra has made an impression as head coach of Gujarat. He is a strong candidate for the job if he applies for the post. Earlier, Nehra has also been the bowling coach of Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in 2018 and 2019 IPL. 


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