India appoint new coach as Gambhir replaces Dravid

Gautam Gambhir, a former world champion and IPL title winner, has taken over as India's head coach

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has been appointed national head coach, succeeding former teammate Rahul Dravid in what is considered one of the most challenging jobs in cricket.

Dravid, who ended his tenure guiding India to the T20 World Cup last month, opted not to apply for the job again, paving the way for Gambhir's elevation to the role.

"It is an absolute honour to serve my tri-colour, my people, my country," Gambhir, 42, said in a statement issued by the Indian cricket board.

"I have always taken pride while donning the Indian jersey during my playing days and it is going to be no different when I take up this new role."

Gambhir was part of the India sides who won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 50-overs global title four years later.

He captained Kolkata Knight Riders to two Indian Premier League titles, and won a third IPL crown with them as mentor earlier this year.

A pugnacious left-handed batter, who represented India in 242 matches across formats, Gambhir will begin his tenure with India's white-ball tour of Sri Lanka beginning later this month.

Expectations will be high given India, under Dravid, also made the finals of the World Test Championship and the 50-overs home World Cup last year.

"His appointment as head coach marks a new chapter for Indian cricket," said Indian board president Roger Binny.

"His experience, dedication, and vision for the game make him the ideal candidate to guide our team forward.

"We are confident that under his leadership, Team India will continue to excel and make the nation proud."