Gambhir’s Assistant Coach Picks: Abhishek Nayar in the Spotlight

The appointment of Gautam Gambhir as India’s men’s cricket head coach has sparked a wave of speculation surrounding the team’s support staff. One name that has emerged as a strong contender for the assistant coach position is Abhishek Nayar, a former teammate of Gambhir’s from the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Nayar is believed to be among the individuals suggested by Gambhir for various roles within the team’s coaching structure. According to a BCCI official, preliminary discussions with Nayar have been held, indicating a positive initial response from the Board.

Nayar, a versatile all-rounder for Mumbai in domestic cricket, garnered limited success in his three ODI appearances. However, he has cultivated a reputation as a sought-after personal coach and mentor for numerous cricketers. His established working relationship with Gambhir from IPL 2024, combined with his close friendship with Indian captain Rohit Sharma, could significantly bolster his candidacy.

For the bowling coach position, former Indian fast bowlers R. Vinay Kumar and L. Balaji are currently under consideration. The BCCI leadership is contemplating retaining at least one member of the current coaching staff to ensure continuity in the team’s approach. Whether Gambhir will collaborate with existing coaches such as Vikram Rathour (batting), Paras Mhambrey (bowling), or T. Dileep (fielding) remains to be seen.

With the limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka, commencing on July 27th, fast approaching, the BCCI is yet to appoint a new selector. Despite interviews conducted by the Cricket Advisory Committee three weeks ago, the selection process is still underway. The outgoing selector’s name has also been withheld from public disclosure. While it is widely rumored that former fast bowler Salil Ankola will be replaced by a selector from the north zone, chief selector Ajit Agarkar’s tenure concluded at the end of the T20 World Cup after completing his 12-month term.

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