Was Virat Kohli Not Consulted Before Gautam Gambhir's Appointment As India Head Coach?

Kohli’s relationship with Gambhir, at least on the field, has been less than ideal. The two have clashed multiple times during IPL matches, with the most notorious incident occurring in IPL 2023. Read on for more

Virat Kohli’s widely-discussed, intense on-field relationship with Gautam Gambhir did not obstruct Gambhir’s appointment as India’s new head coach, as the BCCI did not seek Kohli’s opinion on the matter.

According to a leading publication, the Indian cricket board did not consult the modern-day great before announcing Gambhir’s appointment.

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The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which includes Ashok Malhotra, Jatin Paranjape, and Sulakshana Naik, unanimously recommended Gambhir’s name. Gambhir and former batter WV Raman were the only candidates interviewed for the head coach position.

On Tuesday, July 9, the BCCI announced that Gambhir will replace Rahul Dravid and will take charge from the Sri Lanka white-ball series.

At 42, Gambhir becomes India’s youngest head coach. Unlike his predecessor, Dravid, who also shared the dressing room with current team stars towards the end of his career, Gambhir retired from all forms of cricket only five years ago. His last Test match was in 2016, under Kohli’s captaincy.

Kohli’s relationship with Gambhir, at least on the field, has been less than ideal. The two have clashed multiple times during IPL matches, with the most notorious incident occurring in IPL 2023 when Gambhir and Kohli nearly came to blows following a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants, where Gambhir was LSG’s mentor.

However, things seemed to improve in the last IPL season. Kohli playfully addressed rumors of tension between him and Gambhir, and their embrace during the IPL was seen as a sign that their relationship was on the mend.

Despite this, the BCCI chose not to take any risks. With Kohli now retired from T20Is, the board’s leadership wanted to focus on the future and thus did not consult the former captain.

A BCCI official told Hindustan Times, “There is ample time for the two to have discussions. However, it was crucial for the BCCI to consider the bigger picture, with many young players expected to join in the coming years.”

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