The lowdown on India's new coach

The Gary Kirsten factfile


December 14, Sydney

Gary Kirsten in an ODI against India during the Titan Cup © Action Photographics
At the age of 26, Gary Kirsten makes his ODI debut. His career is not off to the best of starts, scoring 4 off 27 balls as South Africa were skittled for 69 against Australia.

December 26-30, Melbourne
Kirsten makes his Test debut, scoring 16 in a match - the first Australia-South Africa Test since readmission - marred by rain.


January 21, Melbourne
Opening with half-brother Peter, Kirsten scores an unbeaten 112 - his first ODI hundred - as South Africa clinch a 28-run win.


November 30 - December 4, Johannesburg
Kirsten finally scores a Test hundred - his first - in his 17th Test in the first Test against England.


February-March, Wills World Cup
Kirsten starts the tournament with an unbeaten 188 against UAE, the highest individual score in a World Cup match. However, South Africa lose in the quarter-finals against West Indies after winning all the matches in the group phase.

April, Sharjah
Kirsten scores 356 runs in five innings, including two hundreds against India - one in the final, as South Africa win the triangular tournament, also involving Pakistan.

October-December, South Africa's tour to India
Kirsten amasses over 300 runs at an average of 50 in both the Titan Cup - including India and Australia - and the three Tests against India. He makes a century in each innings as South Africa win the second Test in Kolkata by 329 runs.


June-August, South Africa's tour to England
Kirsten scores his first double-hundred in the third Test at Old Trafford, that England save by the skin of the teeth.


December 26-30 , Durban
Scores his Test best of 275 against England, the then joint-highest Test score for a South African batsman. Kirsten's knock - which lasted 878 minutes - still stands as the second-longest innings (in terms of duration) in Test cricket.


October 18, 2002, East London
With his hundred against Bangladesh, Kirsten became the first player to score a century against all other nine Test-playing nations.


February-March, World Cup 2003, South Africa
Bows out of ODIs after South Africa's bizarre first-round exit at home. In 185 ODIs, Kirsten has 6798 runs at an impressive average of 40.95.

August 21-25, Leeds
Kirsten's painstaking knocks of 130 and 60 set up South Africa's 191-run victory in the fourth Test at Headingley, and prompted a rethink of his future.

September 2

Gary Kirsten walks back to the pavilion after his final Test innings © Getty Images
Defers retirement, which was originally intended to be after the fifth Test against England at the Oval.

October 17-21, Lahore
Playing the first Test against Pakistan, he required ten stitches in his face when he missed an attempted hook shot off Shoaib Akhtar on the first day. To everyone's surprise, he was batting again on the fourth morning


March 15, South Africa's tour to New Zealand
Kirsten confirms that he would retire from the game after the ongoing tour of New Zealand.

March 18-22, Auckland
He becomes the first South African to play 100 Tests during the second Test against New Zealand.

March 30, Wellington
Kirsten signs off his Test career in style, with a gutsy 76 in the third Test against New Zealand aiding South Africa to square the series. He finished with 7289 runs - including 21 hundreds - from 101 Tests, at an average of 45.27, being South Africa's most-capped player and leading run-scorer at the time.

April 24, 2004
Receives lifetime achievement award at the inaugural South African Cricket Awards.

Post retirement, he stays involved with the game, mainly in coaching activities in South Africa. He spends time with the Warriors, a South African domestic franchise team, as a consultant batting coach. In 2006, Kirsten sets up his own academy in Cape Town.

In April 2006, Kirsten powered South Africa to victory in the 20-20 World Cricket Classic in Bermuda, with centuries in the semi-final and the final.

Kirsten conducts a week-long coaching clinic for the Zimbabwe national team in June 2007, before completing a Cricket South Africa Level 3 coaching course.

He continues to be involved with the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy, which conducts camps and performance programmes aimed mainly at cricketers in the age group of 16-24.