‘He spent time with the reserves, had meals with them’ – Robin Uthappa on Gautam Gambhir’s formulae to bind KKR together
Uthappa said that Gambhir brought about a sense of security within the group.
Updated - Jun 4, 2020 3:22 pm
Gautam Gambhir was the one, who changed the face of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After having pretty mediocre campaigns in the first three seasons, the team won the title in 2012, beating the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final. Even in 2014, Gambhir and Co got their hands on the coveted trophy after defeating the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the final.
Speaking on his leadership prowess, Robin Uthappa, the former KKR batter, said that Gambhir let the players express their emotions on the field. Gambhir, himself, was a character, who would never shy away from his feelings. Uthappa, who was a part of the 2014 winning team, stated that Gautam carried the team on his shoulders and let the players play their natural game.
“What stood out for me was that he allowed people to express themselves and didn’t interfere with anyone’s games. He made sure he built a sense of security within the group and that I think also is integral in winning tournaments like the IPL and that’s what successful captains do,” Uthappa was quoted as saying in Star Sports’ Show Cricket Connected.
Gautam Gambhir brought a sense of security, says Uthappa
After a poor campaign in 2019, the Knights eventually let go Uthappa, who would now be turning out for the Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming edition. He said that the southpaw liked spending time with the cricketers, who would often have to sit out due to the presence of the big names.
“In my experience of winning tournaments, what I’ve seen is that successful captains give people their space to express themselves and make sure that everyone within the group is feeling secure. So, they communicated to players even who are not playing, you need to bind with players especially in a tournament like the IPL, guys who aren’t playing also play a big factor in building momentum and creating the right energy within the group.
“He made sure he spent a lot of time with the reserves, he trained with them, he had meals with them, so they never felt left out,” he added.
Ahead of the 2018 edition, Gambhir eventually bid adieu to the Knights, joining the Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals. But after a few lacklustre outings, he resigned from captaincy and in December 2018, he hung his boots from all forms of cricket.