‘Gauti bhai has done…’: Manish Pandey opens up on reuniting with Gautam Gambhir ahead of IPL 2024 | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Preparations for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are underway as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) gear up for what promises to be an electrifying season. Led by Shreyas Iyer, the team is set to open their season with a fiery encounter against Pat Cummins’s Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23.
The fervour is palpable as players and coaches converge at the training camp, primed for the season’s kick-off.Notably, KKR welcomes back Gambhir, not in his former roles of captain or coach, but as a mentor.
Gambhir’s influence on KKR’s legacy is indelible, having led the team to its maiden IPL triumph in 2012 and securing a second title in 2014. The latter victory, achieved in a thrilling final against Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), saw Manish Pandey‘s heroic innings of 94 runs off 50 balls contributing significantly to Gambhir’s success.
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The acquisition of Pandey, secured for his base price of ₹50 lakhs during the auction, has heightened fans’ expectations of a formidable partnership between Gambhir and Pandey, aimed at reclaiming the coveted IPL trophy.
Reflecting on his return to KKR, Pandey expressed his gratification and admiration for Gambhir’s mentorship. “It feels really good coming back home. And with Gauti bhai as a mentor, it is also very special because we have had a great history before and won (the IPL) as well. We haven’t had a lot of chats because the first day of practice was today. But hopefully, we’ll have a lot of clarity on the roles before the first game of the season,” he told the media following their first training session of the season on Friday.
Pandey lauded Gambhir’s pivotal role within the franchise, stating, “Gauti bhai has done wonders for the franchise, and we have always had a great leader in him when he was playing. And now with him coming back as a mentor, it is kind of the same feeling.”
Underlining the significance of Gambhir’s guidance, Pandey emphasized, “The kind of ‘Josh’ the boys are in with him (around) and the way he speaks. We had a small team gathering before. It was really good. He will be taking a lot of important calls for the team. The kind of ‘Josh’ the boys are in with him (around) and the way he speaks.”
With the seasoned guidance of Gambhir, Pandey expressed confidence in KKR’s prospects, saying, “GG, with his seriousness and his attitude on the field, dictates a lot of things. I am always happy to hear motivating words every time.”
Pandey, 34, has amassed 3808 runs from 170 matches across IPL. He also has one century and 22 half-centuries to his name in IPL. As he embarks on his 17th IPL campaign, the seasoned veteran will surely be hopeful of igniting the team’s quest for yet another championship.

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