Shreyas Iyer sidelined as former SRH coach praises Gautam Gambhir as KKR’s real leader in IPL 2024

Gautam Gambhir

Former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) head coach Tom Moody has praised Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor Gautam Gambhir for the franchise’s exceptional performance in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024).

As Shreyas Iyer said, Knight Riders “played like invincibles” in IPL 2024 and kept delivering one dominant performance after another. They finished in the number 1 position in the points table with 9 wins and 3 losses. KKR finished their group stage campaign with a record net run rate of 1.428 and easily won Qualifier 1 to enter the summit clash, before crushing Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to lift the IPL trophy.

It was Kolkata Knight Riders’ third IPL championship win and one thing common in all those title wins was the presence of Indian great Gautam Gambhir in the dressing room. He was captain of the team when they won in 2012 and 2014 and in 2024 he served as a mentor.

Notably, Kolkata Knight Riders had finished seventh in the previous two seasons of the Indian Premier League and decided to hire Gautam Gambhir as a mentor for IPL 2024, which changed their fortunes.

Gautam Gambhir made some bold decisions like spending a whopping Rs 24.75 crore to acquire the services of left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc and getting Sunil Narine to open the innings. Narine brought out the best game out of him in IPL 2024 and won the Most Valuable Player of the Season award, while Mitchell Starc won consecutive Man of the Match awards in Qualifier 1 and the final.

Most of the credit for Kolkata Knight Riders’ success has been given to Gambhir with Tom Moody becoming the latest to praise the team’s mentor.

If Gambhir was still in Lucknow this year, there was no way Narine would have opened the batting this year – Tom Moody

During an interaction on ESPNcricinfo, Tom Moody said that Sunil Narine would not have opened the innings in IPL 2024 if Gautam Gambhir had not moved the bases from Lucknow Super Giants to Kolkata Knight Riders. He said:

“His ability to steer the ship in the right direction. He is very clear about what he believes the dressing room should do, the personnel that should be in that playing XI and players like Narine returning to the top of the team. “If Gambhir still was in Lucknow this year, there was no way Narine would have opened the batting this year.”

Tom Moody further labeled Gautam Gambhir as a true leader and said he attributed a great impact to the team. Moody said:

“A lot of things have worked perfectly for KKR this year, in a positive way. I think Gambhir should be given a lot of credit for his impact as a leader. He has created stability and clarity, which is the most important thing. When you see a long season in the IPL and you have several different opinions and you lose here and there.

“Suddenly it becomes confusion and you have all the pieces in motion. You saw that with KKR in previous years, where they chopped and changed their top order, they didn’t really know what their best combination was. Gambhir is being very clear in the dressing room. He wants that the team leaves and talks like that too,” he added.