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'World cricket needs guys like him': Legends welcome Gautam Gambhir's appointment as India's head coach

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NEW DELHI: The appointment of former India opener Gautam Gambhir as the new head coach of the national men's cricket team has been met with widespread approval from former cricket greats, both within India and globally. Gambhir, who succeeds Rahul Dravid , was announced as the new coach of Team India on Tuesday, following Dravid's successful tenure capped with an ICC T20 World Cup trophy.

South African pace legend Dale Steyn expressed his admiration for Gambhir, highlighting his on-field aggression and off-field gentlemanly demeanor.

"I am a big fan of Gautam Gambhir. I love his aggression. He is one of the few Indians that I have played against that kinda came back at you. And I liked that. I think that he has taken in the dressing room with the guys like Virat Kohli and some of the other senior players might not play a bigger part anymore, I am not too sure. I don't want to say they are completely out," Steyn remarked while speaking to Star Sports.

Graeme Smith , Steyn's former teammate and one of cricket's greatest all-rounders, echoed these sentiments, praising Gambhir's cricketing acumen.

"Great to see guys like him going to the coaching side of things. He's got a really good cricket brain on him. He'll bring some fire. He loves playing the game aggressively. I think he will bring that added touch in that. The guys will certainly learn a lot from him and he's got a lot to add. He's gonna add a lot of value to that Indian side. Wish him all the best but not too much against us. And I am sure he's gonna do a fantastic job and the players will certainly learn a lot from him," Smith said.

Steyn further emphasized the need for aggressive players like Gambhir in world cricket.

"Not just in India but in world cricket. They need guys that are a little bit more aggressive. They play the game a little bit harder. We all seem to play in the league against each other and we became quite friendly and friends. I like the way that he's fierce on the field but he's a gentleman off the field. Then also a street wise and very smart cricketer and got a great cricket brain. So, I think from that point of view he's gonna be fantastic for them too," Steyn added.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi also weighed in, describing Gambhir as a positive and straightforward individual.

"Main samajhta hoon ki nayi opportunity bohot badi hai. Depend karta hai ki who kis tarah avail karta hai yeh. Kabhi kabaar interviews wagera sunne ko milte hai, bahut achchi positive baat karte hai, straightforward hai," Afridi said.

Gambhir's appointment is seen as a strategic move to bring a new dimension to the Indian cricket team's approach, leveraging his aggressive playing style and tactical mindset to build on the successes achieved under Dravid. As Gambhir steps into his new role, the cricketing world watches with keen interest, expecting significant contributions to India's future triumphs on the international stage.
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