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Gautam Gambhir is in talks for the post of India’s head coach

Gautam Gambhir, the frontrunner to replace Rahul Dravid as India’s men’s head coach, officially applied and attended an interview on Tuesday, ESPNcricinfo has learned. Gambhir has interacted with the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which is a panel entrusted by the BCCI to shortlist applicants.

The BCCI, which had set May 27 as the deadline for applications for the post, had held unofficial talks with Gambhir during IPL 2024, when he helped lead Kolkata Knight Riders to their third title after returning to the field as a consultant in November 2023.

The KKR stint was Gambhir’s second in the coaching role; He was a mentor to Lucknow Super Giants in the 2022 and 2023 IPL seasons, helping the team qualify for the playoffs twice.

Gambhir wanted time to get a final call-up during the IPL, but speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi on June 1, he expressed his desire to coach India. “Look, I would like to coach the Indian team,” said Gambhir. “There is no greater honor. There is no greater honor than coaching your national team. You represent 140 Indians. And the whole world. And if you represent India, how can it be bigger than that?”

He was answering a question about whether he saw himself helping India to win the World Cup.

“How can I help India win the World Cup – I think it is not me who will help India win the World Cup, it is 140 Indians who will help India win the World Cup,” said Gambhir. “If everyone starts praying for us, then we start playing and defending, India will win the World Cup. The most important thing is not to be afraid and yes, I would like to coach India.”

Gambhir was first in the job when his Indian teammate VVS Laxman told the BCCI last year that he was not interested in the coaching job. Laxman is currently the director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

Dravid had taken over from Ravi Shastri after the T20 World Cup in November 2021, initially signing for two years until the 2023 ODI World Cup. He then accepted BCCI’s request to extend his tenure until the ongoing T20 World Cup.

The BCCI said the new coach will be appointed for three and a half years, from July 2024 to December 2027, and will lead the team in all three terms.

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