Legendary Indian cricket team spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has praised Gautam Gambhir, who is the top contender to take over as India’s head coach after Rahul Dravid’s departure. Ashwin highlighted Gambhir’s exceptional determination and competitive spirit, calling him a “fighter” with an unrivaled drive to win.

At the launch of his book, ‘I Have the Streets – A Kutti Cricket Story,’ Ashwin reflected on his early interactions with Gambhir during his first full Test series for India against New Zealand in 2012.

“In my first full series, after two years of carrying drinks up to the 2011 World Cup, Gautam’s faith in me was striking. It was unusual to get such encouragement from someone outside my home state of Tamil Nadu,” Ashwin shared.

Gautam Gambhir is the primary candidate to replace Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the Indian men’s cricket team, with Dravid’s term ending in June. Gambhir recently interviewed for the position with the BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee, competing against WV Raman and an unnamed overseas candidate.

Ashwin Calls Gautam Gambhir A “Misunderstood” Cricketer

Ashwin also addressed misconceptions about Gambhir, attributing them to his direct and outspoken nature.

“Gautam Gambhir is often misunderstood. Perception plays a big role. He is a fierce competitor with an insatiable hunger to win. We often put players on pedestals, ignoring the nuances of their personalities. This is a sport, not a film, where there are no real heroes or villains, just players striving for success. Despite misunderstandings, I greatly respect Gambhir’s relentless drive and dedication,” he added.

The BCCI has yet to officially confirm Gambhir as the new head coach. If appointed, Gambhir is expected to start in mid-July, when India tours Sri Lanka for a white-ball series. Reports indicate that VVS Laxman, the director of the National Cricket Academy, may serve as the interim head coach for India’s tour of Zimbabwe following the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

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