"We will be fine" – Chandrakant Pandit unfazed by Gautam Gambhir’s exit from KKR

Gautam Gambhir-Chandrakant Pandit

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

Gambhir’s first assignment will be India’s tour of Sri Lanka later this month. The two teams will play a three-match series of ODIs and T20Is. Gambhir will reunite with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in his stint as national coach.

Gambhir had to leave his mentorship with Kolkata Knight Riders as he decided to accept the head coach position offered to him by BCCI. Under Gambhir, KKR won two titles in 2012 and 2014. Ten years later, in 2024, they won their third title under his tutelage.

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

KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit, who worked closely with Gambhir to help KKR clinch their title, said that the franchise would be totally different without him. He also admitted that managing everything without him would be a big challenge.

“We will be entering the IPL as defending champions, so it will be a big deal. Every year you play, every tournament you compete in, it is a big challenge for the coaches, the support staff and the players,” Pandit told PTI.

“Everyone contributed and similarly Gautam, who came with his wealth of experience as a captain and mentor, also helped the team. Obviously, his inputs and guidance to the players also proved beneficial. It will be a big challenge and responsibility for us to rebuild the team but I am confident we will do a good job,” Pandit said ahead of the mega IPL 2025 auction.

According to reports, franchises will be able to use the RTM (right to match) card for a released player, in addition to being able 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 has kept Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as its two foreign picks in the big auctions. This year too, both of them have contributed a great deal to the team’s success. While Narine won the Most Valuable Player award for his all-round performance, Russell scored nearly 250 runs and took 19 wickets.

“It’s been just a month since the IPL. We have to keep working like we do every year. We will talk. There has been no discussion so far, all our options are open,” Pandit said without giving further details on the matter.

Extremely happy for Gautam Gambhir: Chandrakant Pandit

The KKR head coach said that he has extended his warmest greetings to Gautam Gambhir on his appointment as the head coach of the national team and that his experience as a player will come in handy in his stint as coach.

“Obviously yes, we had a good relationship, we discussed team strategies and planning with the captain to come up with better combinations. Obviously, we will miss the communication we had. We are extremely elated with Gambhir’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. I am sure he will do a wonderful job, as he has been doing for the last few years,” Pandit said about Gambhir.

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