Shahid Afridi reacts to Gautam Gambhir becoming India’s new head coach

The former batter was part of India’s World Cup-winning squad in 2011

By Web Desk
July 11, 2024
Gautam Gambhir (L) shares a moment with Shahid Afridi. — AFP

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi reacted to Gautam Gambhir becoming India’s new head coach saying that he talks positively and is straightforward.

Gambhir scored 97 runs in the ODI World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka and helped India lift the title after 28 years. The left-handed batter scored over 10,000 international runs during his 13-year-long international career for India since his ODI debut in 2003.

Afridi, who is currently representing Pakistan Champions in World Championship of Legends (WCL) 2024, said that Gambhir has got a big opportunity and it will be up to him how he makes the best of it.

"It's a new opportunity and a big one. It depends on how he avails such an opportunity. Sometimes, I listen to his interviews. He talks positively and is straightforward," Afridi said while talking to Star Sports.

On the other hand, former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn too opened up on Gambhir’s appointment as the head coach of the Indian cricket team saying that he is a big fan of the former batter.

“I’m a big fan of Gautam Gambhir. I love his aggression: he’s one of the few Indians that I played against that kinda came back at you. I like it. I think he’s going to take it into the dressing room,” Steyn said. 

“Not just India, but world cricket needs guys who are a little bit more aggressive and play the game a little bit harder. We all play in the leagues against each other and we become quite friendly. I like the way Gambhir is fierce on the field but a gentleman off the field. He’s street-wise and a very smart cricketer from that point of view, he’s going to be fantastic for the Indian team.”

Gambhir's first assignment in charge will be a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka, comprising three ODIs and three T20Is, later this month.

Throughout his India career, Gambhir played pivotal roles in securing victories in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup, top-scoring for India in the finals of both tournaments. He also captained KKR to two IPL titles, in 2012 and 2014.