Low-profile coach Kirsten gets rewards
Low-profile coach Gary Kirsten’s methods of ensuring a high
success rate have won him many fans within the Indian team.
The likes of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and
Gautam Gambhir have acknowledged his role in instilling a team
spirit and work ethic that has seen India become the world’s top
test side and number two in one-dayers.
Kirsten took over at a time of flux a little over three years
ago and transformed a talented group into a champion side.
He is known to have eased insecurities and taken India to a
stage where it is a favorite at this World Cup.
While Indians cross their fingers that Tendulkar will finally
win a World Cup, Kirsten will also be aiming to sign off in
”I have enjoyed my game under him,” Tendulkar said recently,
when asked about Kirsten, against whom he played several
international matches. ”He is really putting in a lot of
Kirsten can be seen throwing the ball at the nets at batsmen,
either ironing out weaknesses or preparing them to face particular
types of bowling.
He enjoys a good rapport with players, in contrast to his
predecessor Greg Chappell of Australia.
In fact, Kirsten is known to have spoken to senior players
before taking up the job and maintained a persona similar to that
of Kiwi John Wright, who was the coach when India played in the
final of the 2003 World Cup.
When Kirsten took over, an experienced Indian team had been
knocked out early from the 2007 World Cup, but a Dhoni-led India
side had won the Twenty20 World Championship.
One of his challenges was to ensure a good rapport among the
senior and junior players.
Dhoni says Kirsten is the best thing to happen to Indian cricket
in recent years.
”He has given the Indian team whatever he could, the best he
could, and of course it was a pleasure to have him in the side,”
India’s rise has been largely because of winning abroad during
Kirsten’s stint, the most recent being a creditable drawn series in
”Gary is the best coach that India has ever had,” Gambhir said
recently. ”I have often said that and I keep on stressing that we
Gambhir, also a left-handed top-order batsman like Kirsten, has
blossomed in this period.
”I don’t need to speak much about him. His fabulous record
speaks for itself. He has been a great man-manager,” said Gambhir,
adding that he would want Kirsten retained after his contract ends
this World Cup.
But sadly for the team, Kirsten has informed the Indian board
that he does not want to continue after this World Cup because of