Delhi New Senior Men’s Head Coach Devang Gandhi Aims to Instill Champion Mindset
Devang Gandhi, the newly appointed head coach of the Delhi senior men’s cricket team, has expressed his ambition to cultivate a champion mentality within the squad and elevate their performance in the upcoming 2023-24 domestic season.
Devang Gandhi, the newly appointed head coach, has set ambitious goals to foster a champion’s mindset and rejuvenate the Delhi senior men’s cricket team for the upcoming 2023-24 domestic season.
On Saturday, Gandhi, a former national selector from 2016 to 2020, was announced as the new head coach of the Delhi senior men’s side, succeeding Abhay Sharma. He is expected to join the team in preparation for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, commencing on October 16.
Gandhi’s primary objective is to instill a champion’s mindset within the Delhi team. He believes that such a mindset, characterized by discipline, punctuality, rigorous training, and attention to detail, is the foundation of success. By focusing on these finer aspects, Gandhi aims to create a team that consistently performs at its best.
The former Bengal U19 coach faces a significant challenge as Delhi had a lackluster performance in the previous domestic season. Additionally, the selection panel was replaced even before the conclusion of the Ranji Trophy, and the team suffered from a substantial list of injuries, particularly among fast bowlers.
Delhi’s struggles in the last season included defeating Vidarbha in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarter-finals and failing to advance to the knockouts in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In the Ranji Trophy, they finished seventh in Elite Group B, securing 17 points and achieving victories over Mumbai and Hyderabad only towards the end of the campaign.
Moreover, Delhi will be without experienced batsmen Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana, who have moved to Vidarbha and Uttar Pradesh. Gandhi sees this as an opportunity for emerging talents to step up and take on key batting roles while also focusing on team unity and shared objectives.
“It’s an opportunity for youngsters in Delhi (to step up in place of them). Whenever somebody goes, it does create a vacuum, but it also creates an opportunity. There are a lot of talented boys, and it’s up to the boys now to grab the opportunities. Me and the coaching staff will try to facilitate that process. They will be galvanized in the pursuit of achieving the simple goals of the team.”
Gandhi, who played four Tests and three ODIs for India, will be joined by a coaching staff that includes V Arvind as the bowling coach, Bantu Singh as the batting coach, and recently-retired wicketkeeper-batter Punit Bisht as the fielding coach in Delhi. His primary goals include excelling in all formats and reclaiming the Ranji Trophy, a title Delhi last won in the 2007-08 season.
“The goal will obviously be to perform well in all three formats. Winning the Ranji Trophy would be the primary goal, along with achieving success in the white-ball tournaments. Considering the talented and youthful squad, our aim is to unite them into a cohesive unit. Many promising cricketers are here, and our task is to translate their potential into actual performances.”
Gandhi expressed satisfaction with Delhi’s performance in the Buchi Babu Invitational Cricket Tournament, where they finished as runners-up. During the tournament, Jonty Sidhu and Himmat Singh stood out with their batting, accumulating 257 and 241 runs, respectively. Off-spin bowler Hrithik Shokeen made an impact by taking 14 wickets.
Delhi also possesses Yash Dhull and Harshit Rana, who were part of the India A team that finished second in the Emerging Men’s Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. Dhull captained the team, while Rana delivered consistent all-round performances in the Duleep and Deodhar Trophies for North Zone.
“A lot of young players got an opportunity there. Reaching the finals there will definitely boost their confidence before the domestic tournaments begin. Buchi Babu is a very good pre-season tournament, and many teams have participated in it. Being runners-up in it bodes well for the team.”
Upon his appointment as the head coach of the Delhi senior men’s team, Gandhi shared on his Instagram story that personal growth occurs outside one’s comfort zone and that it was time for a new chapter. His transition from being associated with Bengal and the national selection panel to taking on the challenge of rejuvenating Delhi’s cricketing prowess represents a significant step beyond his comfort zone.
“My comfort zone is Kolkata, where I also reside. The philosophy is that if you are out of your comfort zone, there are opportunities. Many people perceive risk as negative, but I view risk as an opportunity. That is one aspect of it, and for me, relocating from Kolkata to be a part of the Delhi team is a tremendous honor.”