Gautam Gambhir in spotlight as Manoj Tiwary credits India-head coach frontrunner for stamping KKR authority in IPL | Crickit

Gautam Gambhir in spotlight as Manoj Tiwary credits India-head coach frontrunner for stamping KKR authority in IPL

May 26, 2024 05:03 PM IST

Manoj Tiwary explained how Gautam Gambhir sparked a turnaround at the KKR camp in the IPL 2024.

Gautam Gambhir has returned to Chennai for another Indian Premier League (IPL) final. As the mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the former India opener has guided Shreyas Iyer and Co. to their fourth final of the cash-rich league. Two-time winners Kolkata will cross swords with former champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final at the famous MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. The Knight Riders tasted their first title success under Gambhir's leadership in the IPL 2012.

KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir during a training session (PTI)
KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir during a training session (PTI)

The former India opener masterminded KKR's title triumphs as a captain in 2012 and 2014. With Gambhir returning to KKR for IPL 2024, the Kolkata mentor sparked a turnaround at Eden Gardens as the former champions topped the league standings. Iyer and Co. picked up 20 points in the league stage of the tournament. The first team to enter the playoff stage this season, KKR outclassed SRH in Qualifier 1 to enter the IPL 2024 final.

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A triumphant return at KKR has also made Gambhir a favourite for the soon-to-be-vacant India head coach role. According to a previous report, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) approached Gambhir for the top job at Team India. As Gambhir stamped his authority with his fearless brand of cricket at KKR, former Indian cricketer Manoj Tiwary credited the ex-Kolkata skipper for making Knight Riders a force to reckon with in the IPL.

'Gautam Gambhir has made the difference this season'

"Gautam Gambhir has made the difference this season. This is the same team that was playing in the last two seasons, but the performances were not there on the field. The way everyone has performed, you have to say that Gambhir has made the difference," Tiwary told Cricbuzz. "It is not like only one person should get the credit. The players have really stepped up and expressed themselves to play fearless cricket in IPL 2024," he added.

KKR roped in Gambhir as their mentor after the Kolkata heavyweights finished seventh in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Gambhir first joined KKR as a player back in 2011. He remained a Knight Rider till 2017. KKR's coaching staff features senior head coach Chandrakant Pandit, with Abhishek Nayar as assistant coach. The KKR support staff also has James Foster (assistant coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and Ryan Ten Doeschate (fielding coach).

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