Cassian Baliarsingh

2011 ODI World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir has come as a huge boost to superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). His appointment as KKR’s mentor during this IPL 2024 season has been able to get the best out of KKR players.

After being the most successful captain in KKR history, Gautam Gambhir is now doing wonders as mentor for the most popular franchise. Under his mentorship, KKR is performing well with the likes of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shreyas Iyer and Rinku Singh doing impressively well for the team.

Gambhir’s arrival has brought KKR back on track that was under-performing for the last few seasons. However, there was a time when Gautam Gambhir was going through a bad patch and had even thought of dropping himself from the team.

Yes, you read that right. Due to bad performances and low phase, Gautam Gambhir thought of dropping himself from the team, but it was superstar SRK who came to his defence and backed the batter to continue playing.

“It wasn’t a patch, I couldn’t even score a run! He is the best owner I have worked with. And the reason is not because I am now, or was earlier, part of KKR. I don’t think that in seven years of my captaincy, we’ve had a cricketing conversation for seven minutes, except for that patch which I was going through,” Gautam Gambhir recalled during a conversation with Cyrus Broacha.

“At that time also, we had this conversation because I was actually on the verge of dropping myself. The only thing he told me was that, till you are here – and you will be here till you want to be here – you won’t be dropping yourself. I thought as a leader, first and foremost I should have the courage to be part of the playing 11, I should deserve to be a part of the playing 11,” he added.

“I told him that and that’s the only conversation I have had in seven years with him when it came to cricket. He told me you will not drop yourself, whatever happens, you will play all the games. And then things turned around,” Gambhir recalled.

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He continued, “So imagine someone as an owner, who himself has been such a big, great achiever not even talking about cricket, asking you about a single thing about your decision making… He trusted your decision making. I am not saying I have made all the right decisions in those seven years, but he never questioned because that’s the relationship, the trust he had in me.”