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“We’ll do fine” – Chandrakant Pandit unfazed by Gautam Gambhir’s KKR exit

Gautam Gambhir was roped in as the head coach of the Indian cricket team on Tuesday, July 9. The news was made official by a statement from the BCCI. 

Gambhir’s first assignment will be India’s tour to Sri Lanka later this month. The two teams play a three-match ODI and T20I series. Gambhir will reunite with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in his national coaching tenure. 

Gambhir had to leave his mentorship with Kolkata Knight Riders as he chose to accept the head coach role offered to him by BCCI. Under Gambhir, KKR won two titles in 2012 and 2014. It was 10 years later in 2024 that they won their their third title under his mentorship. 

Also Read: Gautam Gambhir becomes India head coach without finalizing salary contract with BCCI: Report

Head coach of KKR Chandrakant Pandit who worked closely with Gambhir in helping KKR break their title jynx said that the franchise would be totally different without him being around. He also admitted that managing everything without him would be a big challenge.

“We will enter the IPL as the defending champions, so it’s going to be a big thing. Every year you play, every tournament you compete, is a big challenge for coaches, support staff, and players,” Pandit told PTI.

“Everyone contributed, and similarly, Gautam, coming with his great experience as a captain and mentor, also helped the team. Obviously, his inputs and mentoring of the players equally benefitted.  It’s going to be a big challenge and a responsibility for us to rebuild the side but I’m sure we will do a fine job” said Pandit looking ahead to the IPL 2025 mega auction. 

As per reports, the franchises will be allowed to use the RTM (right to match) card for a released player apart from which they will be allowed to retain three players from the current squad in the upcoming mega auction. However, nothing has been officially communicated to the franchises.

Over the years, KKR have retained Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as their two overseas picks in mega auctions. This year too both have contributed heavily to the team’s success. While Narine won the MVP award for his all-round performance, Russell scored nearly 250 runs and picked up 19 wickets. 

“It’s just one month or so after the IPL. We have to keep working as we do every year. We will discuss. As of now there has not been any discussions all our options are open” said Pandit as he did not give any additional information on the matter. 

Extremely Happy For Gautam Gambhir: Chandrakant Pandit

The KKR head coach said that he has extended his warm regards to Gautam Gambhir on his appointment as the head coach of the national team and that his experience as a player will be useful in his coaching stint. 

“Obviously yes, We had a good rapport, discussing team strategies and planning with the captain to achieve better combinations. Obviously, we will miss the communication we had. We’re extremely elated with Gambhir being appointed as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. I’m sure he will do a wonderful job, as he has been doing over the last few years” said Pandit on Gambhir.

Also Read: ‘Gautam Gambhir won’t prefer Shubman Gill in T20Is’ – India captain slammed for ‘selfish’ innings vs Zimbabwe in 3rd T20I

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