Former India coach Gary Kirsten has been India’s one of most successful coaches, achieving various milestones in his term. Under his stint, India became the No.1 team in both ODIs and Tests and also won the 50-over World Cup in 2011. Kirsten is a very respected and big name in the cricketing circles of India. However, in a recent interview, the former South Africa batter made a shocking revelation about India stalwart Sachin Tendulkar.
Speaking to Adam Collins in ‘The Final Word cricket podcast’ show on Adam’s YouTube channel, the South African recalled the days when he was appointed as India’s coach. According to Kirsten, when he made it into the team in December 2007, he sensed a lot of unhappiness among the star players like Sachin Tendulkar. He also revealed why MS Dhoni stood out among these players due to his calm demeanour.
“Sachin was probably a stand out for me because he was deeply unhappy at the time that I joined the team. He felt he had a lot to offer, but he wasn’t enjoying his cricket and he was at a time in his career when he felt maybe he should retire. It was important for me to connect with him and make him feel that he had a massive contribution to make to the team and his contribution was more than what he needed to do”, Kirsten said.
“Amid the superstar culture in India, cricketers tend to forget that their job is to perform for the team and not to go for individual milestones. This was the area where Dhoni stood out from players like Sachin Tendulkar,” said Kirsten.
‘It was the most unlikely partnership’ – Gary Kirsten about his bond with MS Dhoni
Kirsten further spoke about his bond with the team and then captain Dhoni. Kirsten said, “Any coach would want a group of players playing for the name on the front of the shirt and not the name on the back of the shirt. Dhoni was an outstanding captain. MS and I formed the most unlikely partnership of captain-coach you will ever imagine in the international game, and we end up having this incredible journey together.”
“India is a pretty tough place with a lot of hype around individual superstars. Amid this kind of hype, you often get lost in what your personal needs are. Meanwhile, Dhoni was standout as a leader as he was so focused on the team doing well. He just wanted to win trophies and have great success. He was also very public about that. It helped pull a lot of other guys into line and as a result, Sachin Tendulkar started enjoying cricket as well,” Kirsten further added.