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My idol Gautam Gambhir bhai: KKR’s Nitish Rana thrilled to work with new mentor in IPL 2024


My idol Gautam Gambhir bhai: KKR’s Nitish Rana thrilled to work with new mentor in IPL 2024

Stand-in captain of Kolkata Knight Riders Nitish Rana expressed his delight at Gautam Gambhir returning to the franchise as their mentor ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. Rana, who was lauded for the way he led KKR in the absence of an injured Shreyas Iyer last year, said Gambhir was his childhood hero and it’s a dream come true moment for him to join hands with the former captain who will work closely with head coach Chandrakant Pandit.

Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday parted ways with Lucknow Super Giants, bringing the curtains down on a 2-year association with the KL Rahul-led side. Gambhir worked with Andy Flower, the head coach, as Lucknow reached the playoffs in both seasons.

Shah Rukh Khan, the co-owner of KKR, welcomed Gautam Gambhir back to KKR, saying the former captain is returning to the side in a ‘different avatar’. Gambhir’s excitement was evident as he came up with an emotional statement, sharing a photo of himself in the KKR jersey on social media.

Nitish Rana, who is expected to be a key part of the KKR side in IPL 2024, said he is keen on learning and growing from one of the most influential captains in the nascent history of the IPL.

“As a kid watching cricket, I never imagined I’d one day share the field and wear the same colors as my idol, @GautamGambhir bhai. Now, having him as our mentor at @KKRiders is nothing short of a dream. His leadership led to glory, and I can’t wait to learn and grow under his guidance. Here’s to the beginning of an incredible journey!” Nitish Rana said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Under Gambhir’s captaincy, KKR clinched their first IPL title in 2012, a victory that was both symbolic and substantial for the team which had under-performed in the first 3 seasons of the IPL.

The 2012 campaign was a testament to Gambhir’s strategic acumen and his ability to galvanise a diverse squad into a cohesive unit. Despite a rocky start to the season, KKR found their rhythm, stringing together seven consecutive wins, which propelled them to the playoffs. Gambhir was not just a strategist but also a prolific run-scorer, amassing 590 runs with six half-centuries, showcasing his dual role as a leader and a key batsman. The final against Chennai Super Kings was a nail-biter, but KKR emerged victorious, marking a new era for the team.

In 2014, Gambhir’s leadership was once again at the forefront of KKR’s success. The season began with personal challenges for Gambhir, as he scored a string of low runs in initial matches. However, embodying the spirit of a true fighter, he bounced back, contributing significantly to the team’s mid-season turnaround. KKR’s seven-match winning streak, with Gambhir at the helm, ensured their place in the playoffs. The final against Kings XI Punjab was another showcase of Gambhir’s captaincy as KKR lifted the trophy for the second time under his guidance.

Throughout his time with KKR, Gambhir was known for his aggressive and attacking style of captaincy. He was not afraid to make bold decisions, whether it was setting unconventional fields or promoting young talent.

Published By:

Akshay Ramesh

Published On:

Nov 22, 2023

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