Not Gautam Gambhir or Shreyas Iyer! Wasim Jaffer credits this person's behind-the-scenes hard work for KKR's IPL 2024 win

Updated - 27 May 2024, 05:21 PM

Abhishek Nayar and Wasim Jaffer
Abhishek Nayar and Wasim Jaffer. Image Credit: Instagram

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) celebrated their first IPL title win in a decade, with much of the attention going to team mentor Gautam Gambhir. However, this focus has sparked discussions among former cricketers, highlighting the significant contributions of assistant coach and batting coach Abhishek Nayar to the team’s success.

Gambhir has been given a lot of credit on numerous occasions for the KKR’s success in the recently concluded IPL 2024. Fans and many cricketers have been hailing the KKR mentor for creating a winning and aggressive atmosphere in the camp and for his tactical knowledge of T20 cricket.

However, several KKR players and former cricketers have stepped forward to acknowledge the significant contributions of assistant coach and batting coach Abhishek Nayar to the Men in Purple and Gold’s successful campaign. His behind-the-scenes efforts were crucial to the team’s success.

Wasim Jaffer hails Abhishek Nayar's crucial contributions to KKR's IPL 2024 triumph

Joining the long list of cricketers, former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has now stressed that Nayar's relentless behind-the-scenes work deserves credit for KKR’s IPL 2024 triumph. Jaffer pointed out that Nayar's efforts, particularly at KKR's academy in Mumbai, were crucial for players who were either not in the playing XI or undergoing rehabilitation.

He highlighted Nayar’s year-round dedication to improving players like Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, and Angkrish Raghuwanshi. The cricket expert said that the KKR batting coach has worked tirelessly throughout the year, and he deserves a lot more credit for the team’s success this season.

Wasim Jaffer said on ESPNCricinfo’s ‘Time Out’ show: “Abhishek Nayar worked really hard behind the scenes. Specially during the season, because they have an academy in Mumbai, and the players, who are not playing or somebody is going through the rehab process. throughout the year, he is working with them whether it is Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Angkrish Raghuwanshi. He does a lot of work and credit should go to him. He has worked tirelessly throughout the year.”

Chandrakant Pandit must have taken a back seat: Wasim Jaffer

The former Punjab Kings (PBKS) coach also opened up about Gautam Gambhir’s influence on the KKR team and how he helped head coach Chandrakant Pandit in the IPL 2024. He noted that KKR's playing style reflected Gambhir's signature aggressive approach, and even claimed that Pundit might have stepped back to allow the mentor to lead the charge.

Pandit had the fresh challenge of working with international stars in the IPL, as he primarily worked with domestic players, and Jaffer feels Gambhir might have provided valuable support to the KKR coach with his experience and leadership to improve the team’s overall strategy and performance.

Jaffer signed off by saying, “We can see that the brand of cricket that KKR played this season has Gambhir's style in it. Probably, Chandrakant Pandit must have taken a back seat and allowed Gambhir to take over. He has been terrific coach in the domestic cricket, but he has not worked with international stars in IPL. For him to understand what happens in the IPL with internationals stars, Gambhir coming in there and taking charge must have been helped Pandit also.”

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Gautam Gambhir Abhishek Nayar Chandrakant Pandit Wasim Jaffer KKR IPL