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Gary Kirsten

'This team was desperate to achieve greatness'

After the final act of his career as India's coach, Gary Kirsten looks back on his three years with the side - building relationships, getting the players to believe, and combining with the man he calls the best captain in the world

Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

April 5, 2011

Comments: 148 | Text size: A | A

Gary Kirsten is carried around the ground, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
"The years with India have been the best of my cricketing career" © AFP

Your first World Cup win - when you finished your days as a player, did you dream that this day was possible?
No. For no other reason than I did not think I would be a coach. Secondly, I did not think I would be coaching the Indian team.

But it was awesome. One of the great experiences of my life. It was a real dream in the sense of all the energy and the effort I put into the work, and it all came through. It was a long road from laying the building blocks to this happening. So it is a wonderful feeling.

Coming from South Africa - and you were a high-profile player yourself - how easy or difficult was it to get into the team and feel it was your own, beyond your professional commitments?
It took time. The important thing is to build relationships, to build trust. When I came in I did not really understand Indian cricket. I played against Indian sides and I had some ideas but I needed to understand the individuals. That took time. I was fortunate that I had the respect of some of the senior players because I played cricket against them. So there was an interaction then. But me and Paddy [Upton] realised very soon that we needed to spend time to understand the Indian way as cricketers and as people.

Probably the most significant thing that has happened in my three years with the team has been the relationships that we built. And that takes time. And through those relationships we were able to built trust within the environment and once you have trust then what happens is people take on responsibility. People need to trust that if they made errors the environment would not come hard at them. They would know we believed in each individual and we supported them. It was not to make people comfortable; it was to give people structure. It was to tell people they were moving towards something other than their individual glory.

There were a few distractions, including the fact that you were coming into the World Cup on the back of a long season. Was that a big challenge?
I don't think it was a challenge at all. The players were so ready for this World Cup. I got a real sense from them that we can win the World Cup.

We started talking the language that we wanted to introduce in the World Cup over a year ago. Everything that we did leading up into the World Cup was around us finding ourselves in that situation in the World Cup. We spoke a lot about managing expectations, about handling the pressure moments, and a lot about how we needed to set up our gameplans and our strategies around what we wanted to achieve in those moments.

We reflected on every single match that we played - the stuff we did really well, the stuff we did not do well, what was the learning out of that, and spoke that language day in day out. "This how we handle this situation, we did not play that smart in this situation, we had a very good five-over spell where we played smart, and come the semi-finals of the World Cup it will be a situation that we have negotiated like we did today in this game."

Can you give an example of where you worked out a situation in the past and improved on it in the World Cup?
The things that stood out for me were the unforced errors we made in our fielding. I kept count. The maximum unforced errors was 12 runs in one of the matches. By the last three games we were not giving away more than five runs in unforced errors. That was huge in the context of what we were trying to achieve. And that is just a small example.

We had done a lot of work on our fielding, but we backed off the training going into the knockout matches. The guys had done all the work. The foundation was set early. The players took on the responsibility and their energy and their intensity and their attitude just rose to another level in the knockout stages.

Sachin Tendulkar praised the efforts put in during the pre-tournament camp, where you demonstrated to fielders how to get the right body positions, things about anticipation…
We focused a lot during that camp on our ground fielding. I have always maintained that Indian catching in one-day cricket and Test cricket is outstanding. It was the ground fielding that was issue, so we spent a lot of time focusing on the basics.

It was about taking the right attitude into the game. Yuvraj [Singh] was key. He creates a lot of energy. He was outstanding this tournament. He definitely came in with a bit more energy.

Did you give him the responsibility or did he take it on himself to turn a new page?
Yuvi had a turnaround, I would say, about six months ago when he got left out of the side in Sri Lanka. From that moment he did a lot of work with Paddy. He made some personal decisions about what he was going to do in preparation for the World Cup. One of them was his fielding, one of them was his fitness. If there is any player that I am really pleased for it is Yuvi, because he has been through a tough six months and to end up being the player of the World Cup - that is as good a turnaround as any I have seen in world sport. He just personified the desire and the pride that these individuals have in playing for the country.

"The day before the final we knew were going to win. We actually even spoke into it. That we were going to win this thing. There was never any doubt"

Bringing Arctic explorer Mike Horn in - whose idea was it?
Mike had come to Kolkata last year [South Africa Test]. Paddy knew him and made contact with him. The guys were really impressed with that first session. So we got him again during the pre-tournament stage. And again he went down remarkably well with the players, really connected with them, gave a couple of chat sessions, got involved in the practices. Paddy and I decided that we had to have him back for the knockout matches. And we did not tell the players. He came for the semis and gave three very really inspirational talks leading into the final.

He just shares his personal experiences about his life and his adventures, sitting with the team informally and telling his stories. We wanted to use it as a time for the players to relax, take their minds off their own issues and their own stresses and listen to someone who had been up there and done it at the highest level. He has done some real extreme things where he puts his life on the line. He was the X-factor. He was that little bit of extra kick we needed.

The group stages of the tournament - did you regard it as a group of death, as it was described in the press?
We never gave it any thought. The one thing what really worked for us in the tournament was, we got ourselves into tough situations virtually every game. Even the games against Ireland and Netherlands were tough. But I believe that really helped us.

So what happens is, we get to Australia and there was this real positive feeling. We were battle-hardened. We had no easy build-up. Even against West Indies, we did really well to pull it back and win the game. And throughout I felt the players really believed that they could turn any situation around. For me the key moment was the Australia game, where we chased down 260, which was a tough ask. From that moment I got a real sense that within our unit now we actually believe that we can win this World Cup, because we can confront any situation.

When Dhoni got out against Australia, was there a sinking feeling?
Again, from the strategy point of view we had made to the decision to get [Suresh] Raina into the team. It was a masterstroke because he added so much value to the fielding. Then he was a frontline No. 7 batsman and proved crucial in the quarter-final and semi-final. He made big contributions in both games. We were absolutely non-negotiable on seven batsmen. And he did a remarkable job.

Is it wrong to say that India were a little bit unsettled in not finding their best team?
We encouraged players not to read newspapers or watch television. Because you can get confused with millions of opinions, and we were really clear about what we wanted to do. We had some interesting selection meetings. It was one of the tournaments where we were not sure about which route to go, especially with the bowling attack: Should we go three or two seamers? Which seamers should it be? We really based it on the team we were playing against and the conditions we felt we were confronted with.

Were you in a spot with the R Ashwin situation, where he had two good matches and then you decided to bench him in the final two matches?
Again, we were making decisions based on the opponents and the wickets. We felt that the subcontinental teams were much better players of spins and it was a risk picking only two seamers.

Did you ask the batsmen to, say, cut out particular shots - as there were a few guys playing their first World Cup?
Absolutely not. These guys are in this team because they can play with great flair and great ability within the boundaries of what we wanted to achieve as a team.

How we set up games was spoken about on a daily basis. The guys needed to fit into that programme. If we felt that one decent partnership was required, then there was a responsibility that the player took on to make sure that if he was in the partnership, he would make it count.

I actually felt we had a great batting World Cup because whenever we got into trouble we got ourselves out of it. We always use the 30-over mark as our foundation for what we can do in terms of getting a big score, and we felt that if we were over 150 runs and not more than three wickets down, we could really accelerate after the 30-over mark. Virtually every game we got ourselves into a strong position at the 30-over mark, specially the ones we were batting first in.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni discusses a point with Gary Kirsten, Rajkot, November 13, 2008
"Dhoni expects the coach to take the responsibility to prepare the team for him, and he leaves that to me 100%. We really combine well in terms of our dual responsibilities as leaders of the team" © AFP

There were a couple of malfunctions with regards to the batting Powerplay, weren't there?
That was the beauty about it: that you could have a malfunction and still go on to make 296 [against South Africa]. Even though there were times we did not fire at the latter stages of the 50 overs, what we had done until then was remarkable. That really was our strength. There were periods of time when we lost wickets, but because we had set it up so well, we were still getting good scores.

In the end the bowlers had a big impact on the result against Australia and then Pakistan.
I wouldn't say just the bowlers won us those matches. Everyone wins you games. Certainly it was a remarkable performance against Pakistan, where they bowled exceptionally well as an unit. It was brilliant, really, for me to see both Munaf [Patel] and Ashish [Nehra] take on the responsibility. Ashish finishing with 2 for 33 from his 10 overs, in today's cricket, on a flat wicket, after all the criticism, was amazing.

We always believed in our players, always supported them, which made the selections difficult. We were looking at what they had done for us over a period of time and knew that we could back them and believe in every one of them.

Were you surprised by the ease with which the team went on after the Australia game?
I think we always believed that if we played to 80% of our potential we were going to be a very difficult side to win against. Because we had pretty much everything. We had good spinners, we had a great top seven, and our seam attack was led by Zaheer Khan, who had a brilliant World Cup. We were doing enough stuff with our seam bowlers as well to make sure that we could restrict teams. We weren't surprised.

Can you tell us about a surprising moment, where you stood up and said, "That's not what I had planned, but it came out well"?
I would say that our fielding against Australia was really surprising. We said to the guys in the team meeting afterwards that that was the best fielding performance I had seen in the three years I had been with them. The ground fielding blew me away. I had never seen us field like that, and we took it through all three games after that.

Man for man, the 2003 side was perhaps better. But the sum of this side has been consistently better than at any other time in the history of Indian cricket. Do you think there's anything different with this team?
It is always dangerous to make assumptions on paper. The greatest asset of this team - who I believe are under the best captain in the world at the moment, MS Dhoni - is that they are a sum of parts. There are great individual players, but they are playing for a bigger cause.

We often made the point in our team meetings that we wanted to spread the responsibility of this tournament. We wanted everyone, no matter how small your contribution is, to be significant. A great fielding performance in the 50 overs. A brilliant catch. Thirty-five runs that really took the game away from the opposition. Three overs of great bowling that turned it around. Those were the key moments for us. We wanted everyone to feel that they were making contribution even though the statistics might say they weren't making a big contribution. That was crucial for us.

The one thing that stands out in all three knockout games is that there was a spread of contributions and a spread of responsibility. It wasn't one superstar. Everyone did their bit. That was very exciting for me. That typified what we tried to do with this team.

Tell us more about Dhoni. Is he always calm or does he ever lose it? In the dressing room even? Does he always keep his emotions under control or is it only on the field?
He always does. As I said, I think he is the best captain in world cricket today.

What makes him the best captain?
He leads by example. He always gives the team a 100% of his effort and his energy. He never loses his temper. He is a great strategist. He has got fantastic ideas on the field. And he canvasses opinions and then he makes his own assessments.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him. I think he takes that responsibility full-on on the field. He expects the coach to take the responsibility to prepare the team for him, and he leaves that to me 100%. We really combine well in terms of our dual responsibilities as leaders of the team.

How do you train a team to peak?
You don't. You can't. We didn't specifically go out there and say, "We are going to play average this game." You just go out and play. What changes is your mental processes. What we did really well is that we knew we could play at 60% against a lot of teams and win and get ourselves out of trouble. We knew that. And then we knew that when we played those knockouts we would have to step it up and go in full gear. It was subconscious; it wasn't planned.

Was there any point in the England game that you took it easy and then it suddenly got tough?
Again, we probably learnt a lot out of that game. We learnt that we can't take anything for granted, even if we get a great score. And I think the one positive that came out from that England game is how we came back. For me that has been one great characteristic of the Test team and the one-day team. To come back from difficult situations. This team never gives up anymore.

"We wanted everyone to feel that they were making contribution even though the statistics might say they weren't making a big contribution. That was crucial. It wasn't just one superstar. Everyone did their bit"

We just believe that we can do anything. It stems from Harbhajan Singh scoring hundreds. It stems from Ishant Sharma batting with [VVS] Laxman to save a game. It stems from Gautam Gambhir batting out a day against South Africa in really tough conditions at Newlands. And then all the one-day efforts from difficult situations. Yusuf Pathan getting a brilliant hundred against New Zealand [last December] when we were in trouble. You could probably name six or seven games in this World cup when we got ourselves into trouble and got out of it.

This team has got a remarkable ability to come back from the dead. For me that speaks about the team, it speaks about what we want to achieve as a team. This team was desperate to achieve greatness.

Can you tell us about what the players came up to you and said to thank you?
It's not necessary to delve into comments. It was just an absolutely amazing week. Because every game we played could have been my last game with the team, and it was just amazing how it unfolded. As the tournament progressed in those knockout stages, I just felt a sense of destiny there. I felt we were going to do this thing. To the point that, the day before the final we knew were going to win. We actually even spoke into it. That we were going to win this thing. It's how we prepare to deal with the success, because we are going to win. Mike spoke about it: we are going to win this thing tomorrow. There was never any doubt at that stage. When it happened, nothing excited me more than how the captain closed out the game the way he did, and the batitng effort he put in. I knew he was going to score runs in the final. He shifted himself.

Moving himself up the order - was it not a huge decision for Dhoni to take personally. If it went wrong, he would have been hammered by the media?
Why? That's weird. The media at one stage said he should bat up the order. Then they say he should bat down the order. That's the thing, you see. When you are not influenced by that, you just make clear decisions. You back the process.

You are the third foreign coach India has had. There has been respect for the previous ones, but perhaps there hasn't been such genuine affection. The players have spoken about you at every press conference for almost two years, thanking you every time.
I am humbled by that. It has been a remarkable journey, an emotional journey. When I came into this job, I very quickly realised that what I needed to do is give my 100% as a person. I did not want the spotlight. I never liked it. The only reason why I am giving interviews now is, I feel a sense of responsibility to do so at the end of my time.

I believe the game is about the players, the people that walk the field and make the plays. I believe that these players have shown an enormous amount of courage, with the weight of expectation on them, as young people. It is remarkable. The way they have managed that is an absolute credit to India. They are the pride and joy of India, and deserve every little accolade they get, because the pressure is unbearable. And no one understands that.

The greatest learning I can take out of this time is understanding how to get the best out of people. And that the definition of coaching is probably a little bit incorrect - or how everyone sees coaching. I found that I learned a lot more about myself in this job, and who I was as a person, and how I could lead people better. I began to understand that you can offer a huge amount of value as a coach by focusing on things that coaches are meant to focus on, which is how to hold a cricket bat and how to watch a bowling action. That you can have more influence, at this level, by saying the right things to people, and building relationships with people, by building trust and supporting and believing in people.

What is the one thing you are going to miss about coaching India?
It's a good question. I am going to miss a lot. Thinking back, I remember saying to Paddy and Eric [Simons], "This is our last day when we had that practice. Tomorrow is the match. That's it."

What I am going to miss is the camaraderie, the togetherness. I am going to miss the individuals. I am going to miss the feeling of the energy that I put into the process. I will miss that feeling. I think I loved living out of my comfort zone. For me that was a little bit uncomfortable in that space. I am going to miss that a little bit. But I need the break. I need some time off. I need a holiday. I need time.

Do you enjoy throwing balls?
I love it. I love it. There were many times I had to go for massages and take anti-inflammatories, but that was my commitment to the team. If they saw me physically challenging myself for them, then they responded to what they needed to do. I am not a coach who stands at the back of the nets and tells people what to do. I would get bored very quickly doing that. I have to be working. I have to be doing something in the nets. I can't just stand like that.

At what time do you stop saying "We"? How difficult is it to disengage?
I am quite good that way. When I retired I moved on very quickly. These have been probably the greatest three years of my cricketing life.

Bigger than your playing days?
There are obviously some highlights from my playing days, but this comes right up there. I am going to miss it. I wouldn't want to end it any other way. I just feel this is the way to end.

Did you really believe you were going to become the No. 1 Test team and the World Cup winners?
I did believe that. And the players knew I believed that. I talk to the team every day. If they see I don't believe, they are not going to believe.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 7, 2011, 14:05 GMT)

Gary!!!! We (Indians) miss you!!!! WORLD CUP was/is/will be everything to any country associated with Game of Cricket..... India Cricket team was full of talent... we were in a confusion.... you helped Team to draw a line b/w performance and talent you purse..... anyways... best of luck..... have a wonderful vacation and plz come back... we will be waiting for you ;) !!!!! 3 Cheers to Gary Gary Gary

Posted by Raamakrishna on (April 7, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

Gary was surely the mastermind behind Indian Cricket team's glory-- But it amazes me how he managed to be away from limelight all the while... and let the players get the accolades from both media and public. There were a lot of "downs" too during the last three years, but Its amazing how the team bounced back from every one of them... and took a collective responsibility when mattered. Its not about one great player winning it for the team, but its about how each player complemented the others and got into a winning habit as a team. Thats the difference we see in this team compared to the teams of the past. Hope India gets another coach who can take on the legacy and continue on the same lines as Gary+Dhoni combo.

Posted by Sreerang on (April 7, 2011, 1:02 GMT)

India has been extremely lucky to have had two coaches as right people at the right time. First it was John Wright who along with the then Indian team laid the foundation for what we are achieving today. And now Gary who completed the job of taking India right up there. Now Indian team needs somebody who would help maintain the positions for team India in world cricket.

This is a very good interview, giving an insight into the thought processes of the Indian team. It is only after the final of the WC, that we have heard Gary speak. That speaks a lot of him. Wishing Gary all the best for his future.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 11:29 GMT)

I was very skeptical about the Board's decision to bring on Gary as the coach because Chappel had had such a bad influence on Indian Cricket that even a thought of a foreign coach made me jittery. But then Gary came on board and as time passed by, I started realizing the greatness of him and what he could do to Indian cricket. I loved his ideas about the game, especially the one in which he suggested Sehwag to play atleast 150 balls in the test against Australia. That was a mater-stroke because if he stays that long you end up being closer to victory in no time. Farewell Sir, We will miss you. An avid lover of the game.

Posted by DeepakKr.Singh on (April 6, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

People of South Africa must be proud of your achievement as well as People of India. Team india blessed by god sending a prophet in the fashion of Gary Kirsten. No wonder today if India is world champion- There is a god himself in the team as Sachin, Prophet as Gary kirsten & the real devotee like Hanuman as dhoni. That combination was made for nothing less than VICTORY. thanks a Lot for giving an immense joy to people of INDIA.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

plz coach our team for one more wld cup. It wud be quite difficult to find a coach like you.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 9:11 GMT)

What he did is great achievement.It's not come easily.He is a Diamond came from RSA.When he Warn Players @ T20 WC Loss in WI.After that loss Indian Players felt where they are that Incident Motivate them do well CWC2011.

Posted by LittleFinger on (April 6, 2011, 5:00 GMT)

Wow! It takes a really great person to be this good at what you do and still be so humble. You are an amazing person Gary, that much is obvious from what little you have let on. As an Indian fan who was desperate to see Sachin lay his hands on the World Cup trophy, I owe you a debt of gratitude. Here's my wish for you: May you lead SA to their maiden WC triumph!

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 4:46 GMT)

luv u gary from core of our hrt.we thank u for ur dedication nd devotion to our team.u r d person whom we admire from our heart.may god bless u nd hav a great future ahead.

Posted by whocares123 on (April 6, 2011, 4:34 GMT)

Gary, I bet you will miss india so much that you will come back to india. Mark my words. Maybe this time along with your family so you have no reason to leave:-)))

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 4:16 GMT)

Gary !!!!! Thanks a lot, you deserves it.. You are the real hero for entire Cricketing Nations. Guys!!! After a dreadful Coach Greg (Even Aussies suffered a lot), we got a MAN like Kohinoor Diamond. Say Hats off to Gary.. I would like every Indian & Person who likes the Indian team Say Thanks a LOT to GARY KRISTEN. EVERY INDIAN LOVES YOU AND GIVES YOU A HIGH RESPECT, KEEP YOU ALWAYS ON EVEREST WHEN IT COMES TO INDIAN CRICKET AFTER OUR CRICKETING GOD. TO BCCI, PLEASE DONT LEAVE GARY.. GIVE HIM REST FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS.. BRING HIM BACK, SURE WORLD CUP WILL NOT GO OUT FROM YOUR WARD ROBE.

Posted by fd99601 on (April 6, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

Truly nice to hear him speak. He's given his best to our team, and more importantly made the team to give their best ignoring the brouhaha and false hype that usually surrounds this sport in our nation.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2011, 2:28 GMT)

Great Interview. Thank you Cricinfo. Thank you Gary for sharing your experiences, Absolutely brilliant.

Posted by Peachjay on (April 6, 2011, 2:13 GMT)

Hi Gary -You have done an amazing job with these individuals in bringing them into a unit and believers, which is what is the main reason behind the ascendency of this team. Congratulations to you -the first South African to win the world cup! I hope the Indian govt bestows the Dronachraya award to yuo s well! Mr. Pawar are you listening?

Posted by CricketpunditUSA on (April 6, 2011, 1:17 GMT)

They should definitely make a movie out of Gary's tenure with the indian team. All the ingredients are there. Starting with 2007 exit and a villainous coach Greg, and a new captain , larger than life senior players, macho egoist characters such as Yuvi, Bhajji, not to mention crazy characters like sreesanth.. Corrupt politicians running the show, biased and zonal selecters, unforgiving and emotional supporters.. He did pull something out of all these characters.. anywho, Sachin finally got the coach, captain, and the team he deserved.

Posted by rohitkossery on (April 5, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

Guys, you should read what Herschelle Gibbs wrote about Gary Kirsten in his autobiography. It shows what a great cricketer and human being Gary is, and Gibbs for one is not surprised at all that India became no.1 test team under Gary.

Thank you very much Gary, for what you brought into the team. We always had the talent to win the World Cup, but it takes a special coach to harness that talent and produce results. We are all grateful for what you contributed and wish you the best for your future. You deserve a rest, and I do hope you decide to come back to India. You will always have a place in our hearts.

Also, a special thanks to Mike Horn, Eric Simons and Paddy Upton for all the help, support and motivation provided.

Posted by Bytheway on (April 5, 2011, 23:34 GMT)

The Indian batting lineup picks itself from Nos. 1 to 6. No problems there. If Dhoni and Kirsten simply played their best bowlers this would be pretty straightforward too, but they consistently played the wrong bowlers, except for two games. A good spinner is better than a very average slow-medium bowler on any wicket. Apart from this baffling aspect of India's world cup campaign, and Dhoni's various excuses for the same, they have been brilliant.

Posted by Lait on (April 5, 2011, 22:11 GMT)

Gary - An institution in itself for humbleness. Amazing..

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 21:10 GMT)

Hi Gary, Congratulations. Excellent job and well done! As a coach myself, I agree that as a person you also grow when you take the role. My own philosophy is to try and bring out the best in a person and key to that is building relationships as well.and I have had much success..It works in my professional work to which is why I knew India would win!!!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 20:23 GMT)

Such a time as you've chosen to go, has ensured "Coach Kirsten" will become a near-mythical figure for hundreds of millions of fans for decades to come. This feels like a movie almost, with you a sort of old Shaolin master walking off into the sunset. Thanks from a blue billion to you and your entire team. @Cricinfo: Great interview. Longer and deeper than expected.

Posted by aakash.chandra on (April 5, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

Excellent interview.. i enjoyed reading every word of it!

Posted by Atindra on (April 5, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

Thanks Cricinfo, yours is best site for cricket lovers. This interview is wonderful piece of journalism and What to say about Gary!!! He is simply an amazing person he deserves lots of respect and love. Somebody truly asked for permenant citizenship to Gary-its a great idea. He is simple, down to earth and very practical coach. He did not bother players with the demonstration of batting skills, he rather encouraged them to bring out their own best. Gary should start coaching the future wanna be coaches. Because I have seen coaches have irritating attitude and they start dictating terms, start messing with every set up of the team and end up in ruining the teams. Gary is different and thats why we love him. I feel that he will remember India for good reasons through out his life. All the best and Take Care Gary!!!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 18:31 GMT)

You are always raising the bars...Well done Gary...!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

Three years have passed just like that!!! So much transformation in this period visible within the national side. There was a time when the fall of Tendulkar's wicket would mean that those following him would not know what hit them! In this world cup, it was not the kind of Indian national side we were used to. They made contributions, however small the number of runs may have been. They all mattered. Of course, Viru, Yuvi, Gauti, Bhajji, Zaheer, Yusuf; all made sure we go the distance.

For this we really have not just Mr. Kirsten, but also the support staff. From the deepest depth of our hearts. Thank you sir and the team for bringing back the ONE CUP that matters in a cricketer's career. Hope you stay connected with Indian in some way.

We hope you'll seriously consider returning as a coach.

Posted by deepak.amarnani on (April 5, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

Gary, If I had some what influence in the Indian Awards... then Undoubtedly u Deserve the Dronacharya Award..... U taught the world that to be successful you just need belief in ur self n hardwork.... All the Best for ur Future.

Posted by Nitin_21 on (April 5, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

Well Done Gary Sir, behind every Successful team there is a South African ;-) (England, Bangalore Royal Challengers, now India), anyways thanks a lot for making us the number one in tests and world Champs in ODI's, thanks a lot for respecting Sachin and the seniors, thanks a lot for encouraging the youngsters and keeping them grounded, all in all we Indian's are really privileged to have had you as our Coach. All the best for your future endeavors, hope one day you can coach the South African cricket team to the ultimate glory, they too deserve it. Cheers, Nitin Bhat Bangalore

Posted by cricketchandra on (April 5, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

This interview is the manual on how to train, lead and engage sportsman to achieve highest results. Thanks Gary for your amazing work. If there is a way to say thanks to you directly in a minute, billion hearts would say it once. Everyone who saw the amazing change happened in the team from bunch of stars to the star's kid team of you would cherish the moments for lifetime. You immortalized yourself thru this in the history.

Posted by Milind_SRTFan on (April 5, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

Gary Kirsten is a brilliant coach. Indian team will miss him very much. The BCCI should try to get him back after a year break or so. He needs time for his family, nothing wrong in it. But they should try to get him back. Thanks Gary for the dedicated efforts you put in with the team.

Posted by Hermandw on (April 5, 2011, 17:46 GMT)

Nagraj and Gary, thanks for this excellent interview. Now if only South Africa's Cricket bosses would read this and decide to ask Gary Kirsten again to be SA coach. His approach and the things he concentrated on are exactly what the Proteas need to finally win the World Cup in 2015. Come on SA cricket bosses!!!

Posted by Eyal on (April 5, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

Dear Gary Thank you so much for the wondefrul contribution and making our dream come true. Espesially thank you for who you are. humble, beautiful, friendly. Good luck with your next step. mabe you can turn SA , finaly into a champion team. For India I wish that Steeve Wough would come and coach the team as he his a great champion. Jai Mata India !

Posted by Ravichamp on (April 5, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

Why Not a Dronacharya Award for Gary Kirsten. Its the ultimate coaching award to a Coach given by the Indian Govt. I presume nobody will grudge giving it to him. well done Gary........ You will be etched in Indian Cricket folklore..................

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

Graig chappel liked to come front of media and talk much.. but Gary says he never wanted to.... That was the different and success i think! John wright started it and Gary has ended!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 15:57 GMT)

gary kirsten is da best thin dat has ever happend 2 indian cricket..!! v indianz n surely da players are forever grateful 2 da efforts he has put up..!!

Posted by psychicsaint on (April 5, 2011, 15:49 GMT)

Whoever in the BCCI decided to appointed Gary Kirsten as India's coach, it is probably the most wise decision the BCCI ever made... Money, Citizenship or words like Thank You or Miss You would never compensate the contribution he has made to Indian Cricket.. He sounds an ethical professional, so I'm not worried that he knows our team's weaknesses even if he chooses to coach Australia or South Africa in future... All the best to you, Gary and Congratulations on a job well done...

Posted by CricketChat on (April 5, 2011, 15:29 GMT)

Gary played an absolutely vital role in Indian team's success, T20, WC, No.1 Test ranking since he joined the team. It is just as well he is moving on to something else because there isn't anything further which will top that achievement. Wish you all the best next!.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

Agree wholeheartedly with quotejester.Stephen Fleming could be a super choice to replace Gary Kirsten

Posted by kool_Indian on (April 5, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

Thanks a lot Gary - Take a Bow... We Love You from the bottom of our hearts... thank you thank you thank you so much...!!!

Posted by MahanBharat on (April 5, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

We Want minimum 14 Teams in 2015 and 16 Teams in 2019 and 20 Teams in 2023.

Posted by RSG476 on (April 5, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

When you listen to Gary Kirsten speak, you wonder what the team would have been had he come aboard in 2005 rather than Greg Chappell, who effectively set back Indian cricket by a few years. The team would have benefited far more under his guidance and would not have been torn apart by the games that Chappell played. That was a loss for India

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

I cant believe I am thanking this man for his contribution to Team India. I vividly recollect the days whenever Ind played SA and I could hardly wait for Srinath or Prasad to get him out quick!... brilliant batsman, brilliant person. Also, thanks to John Wright for his coaching from 2000-2005. He, Ganguly and other senior players really changed the team morale around especially after the match-fixing episode.

Posted by ThirdSlip on (April 5, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

Hats off Gary! Not just a great coach, seems like a genuine friend and a phenomenal human being. Glad we got to "keep" him :)

Good luck!

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (April 5, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

Gary, All I can say is Thank you coach. You will be missed dearly but you are destined to take other teams to greatness. You are a great Human being and sincerely wish you noothing but success in all your future endeavors.

Posted by prakku on (April 5, 2011, 14:36 GMT)

Im Prakash from Andhra....Die hard fan of Cricket and the only reason to watch cricket is Mastreo Sachin.....I just want to mention one team can be build in a single day or in an year......The current team and its ranking and the belief of every player was purely built by DADA Ganguly and Coach John Wright...Im damn sure 80% of the team enjoying WC win is purely becz of them. Also Dhoni good captian but like ponting only..becz he has got good players in the side he is enjoying the victory..but once the Indian team becomes like Current Aus then he will face the real test for his character and leadership....For this WC win I purely give 50% credit to Ganguly,John Wright, Dravid, Sachin and the rest to the current team and coach Gary....What ever the case we won WC one of my 15 years cricket watching dream fulfilled....thanks to Indian Cricketers...

Posted by victorUS on (April 5, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

Ladies and Gentlemen, here you have the entire practice of management (not just the HR) encapsulated in a short interview. A unique chance to learn what makes an organization - any organization - great and enduring.

Posted by dalok on (April 5, 2011, 14:30 GMT)

I hope we don't get another Greg to replace Gary. Gary you did a wonderful job. I am sure coaching manuals will be written based on what you have done.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 14:21 GMT)

We have had before our eyes two very good examples of what a coach should be in Gary Kirsten and what a coach should not be in Greg Chappell;a very good case study. While Chappell decided that the limelight is for him and tried to impose himself like a football coach, Kirsten on the other hand very shrewdly side-stepped it and decided to work his way to earn the players' trust. We Indians will forever be indebted to Kirsten for his commitment and contribution towards the success of our national team. Thanks a ton, Gary!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 14:21 GMT)

Mind blowing. Just shows how puny the thinking of the media and even the public has been compared to these giants of cricket. All the people who criticised the team selections and the players at every stage should eat humble pie. The cricketers were a 100% right and correct and the media/blogosphere were almost always wrong.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 14:20 GMT)

Gary Kirsten:Humbleness personfied!!The man just doesn't want to take any credit in the Indian WC win when in reality he and Dhoni were the two catalysts of the changed Indian Team mindset which resulted in this victory.Thanks Gary for this and you will always remain in the memories of all Indian Cricket Lovers.Wishes to you and your family for a Happy and Peaceful future.

Posted by TywinLannister on (April 5, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

In spite of several attempts to get some cheap headline item, Gary gave nothing to the interviewer - the guy's awesome!

Posted by victorUS on (April 5, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

Ladies and Gentlemen, here you have the entire practice of management (not just the HR) encapsulated in a short interview. A unique chance to learn what makes an organization - any organization - great and enduring.

Posted by big_cheese on (April 5, 2011, 14:06 GMT)

Wow! Gary - More than your coaching skills or cricket knowledge or any other technicalities, you will be remembered as a wonderful human being by this Indian Unit. As they stated the same time and again.

THANK YOU for taking us to where we are today, to say the least - INDIA WILL MISS YOU BIG TIME.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 14:03 GMT)

I always admired Gary the way he used to play in late 90s. I used to feel why don't we have a player like him in Indian team. Now after world cup victory, he raised the respect of himself. He always looked calm when he batted. I request Gary to take break for a year and come back as a coach to Indian team. I thank Gary for everything he has done to this Indian team

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:59 GMT)

We can't thank you enough for your invaluable contribution as a coach. Go have a great time @home. Do come to your second home some time. We all will miss u!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:56 GMT)

worlds tighest hug to gary..........u r the a CHAMPION

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

Mutual feelings @Shiva Kumar! You have done a wonderful job! Please do keep in touch with the Indian team and the media! One big hug from all of us!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

I Salute you Mr. Kirsten. I love the way you said "I always believed. If the players see i dont believe, they are not going to believe".... Right Said.... That should be the approach of a Coach. Believe and Make Believe. You and Dhoni are true heroes

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

Thank You Gary for all that you have done for India! We will miss you.Hope you come back later when we need you.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

tanx gary a lot you were a great player a great human being and a now you are also a great coach................ We indians are proud of you and we gonna miss u you..... though i want to see you back in action again......

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

As observed by Guru Gary, I just feel this is the way to (a perfect) end. There could not have been a better end to an even incredible journey. Thank you Gary, you'll be missed.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:15 GMT)

THANKS GARY . hope you continue with the indian team or atleast with some ipl team.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

THANKS GARY . hope you continue with the indian team or atleast with some ipl team.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

What a wonderfull person he is first ...which eventually reflected in the teams belief and We did it...alot of credit should go to Gary Kirsten...(One of the best left handed batsman i feel he is)...He was the one who did it more than the team...i like wat he spoke abt mental this level you really dont need to teach the team , how to hold a bat ..infact make them play as a TEAM and create that self belief ... we will miss Gary Kirsten loaddsss as audiences..he's been fantastic...well done Sir.

Posted by Alexk400 on (April 5, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

He was perfect fit. Stephen fleming was better captain.Not sure he is better coach. We need silent ones. Coach should not get into captain domain.

Posted by bonaku on (April 5, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Thanks gary for give us WC.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

I have just 2 words for u...... THANKS GARY.....

Posted by mdavid on (April 5, 2011, 11:59 GMT)

Good Bye for now...GARY..we Indians will always be grateful & thankful to you forever & ever ! Many Generations to come. What a personality you are :) you emerged from nowhere without any coaching experience & made the Indian team lift the World Cup again..u r godsend to the Indians. Real heartfelt thank you again & again. Wishing all the best for your enjoy the time with your family :)

Posted by mdavid on (April 5, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

Good Bye for now...GARY..we Indians will always be grateful & thankful to you forever & ever ! Many Generations to come. What a personality you are :) you emerged from nowhere without any coaching experience & made the Indian team lift the World Cup again..u r godsend to the Indians. Real heartfelt thank you again & again. Wishing all the best for your enjoy the time with your family :)

Posted by hari15 on (April 5, 2011, 11:53 GMT)

There were lots of credits going to Sachin and Dhoni from the media. They deserved all the plaudits but Gary you are the unsung hero of Indian cricket.You transformed the Indian team that was depleted because of first round loss in 2007 world cup into a invincibles. The enjoyment you take in just be a backbone of success and not take the limelight makes you extra special.You were marvellous during ur playing days but u have been exceptional during ur coaching stinct and u have won the heart of 1.3 billion Indian people. You are a true champion and the whole India will miss u. Being a di e hard fan of u wish you success for your future commitments and one day please come back to have a another stinct with Indian team.Whole India will be waiting for that day...

Posted by asadhlc on (April 5, 2011, 11:50 GMT)

Definitely, this is one of the best interviews I had read online. Thanks espncricinfo for publishing this. There are lots of messages in it and more importantly the results which the TEAM INDIA bought in after implementing the same.

Posted by vishwala.T on (April 5, 2011, 11:26 GMT)

HATS OFF GARY!!!!go ahead and enjoy wid ur family...... but again if u feel lyk come back to INDIA!!!!!WE LOVE U BOTH PLAYERS AND PEOPLE OF INDIA!!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 11:20 GMT)

Well done Gary, you made us as South Africans very proud. India derserved to win.

Posted by Prem_cricanalyst on (April 5, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

This is the finest interview presented by any leader in any walk of life for a long long time. A finest cricketer himself, the interview defines the man. We are real lucky to have such a class act to guide Team India. The 'process' he talked about has caught the imagination of every Member of TEAM INDIA and the influence is seen in the interview of every cricketer for a long time now. GREAT JOB GARY.. We will ever remember you as much as this Historic World Cup Triumph..As a follower of Cricket, I fondly remember the vow taken by Gary as a player on a new year to score 6 Test Centuries. Such is the work ethic of the man. You are real HERO whether you play or you coach.

Posted by tutul989 on (April 5, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

Gary Kirsten a great batsman in his playing days and now a great coach.... India should retain him and his support team.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

Congrats Gary, you have done a remarkable job. Good luck wherever you go! :)

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 10:11 GMT)

Thanks Gary.........Thank you for everything...U r a great Coach

Posted by Lutch on (April 5, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

I am from South Africa and unfortunately Gary will never receive the same respect he received from the Indian team. The players are very humble and that is one of the main reasons Gary stayed and coached them. He should take his time off and then come back afterall every person needs some time off. Its been a gruelling affair up until this point and India has achieved what they dreamed of and all of them should get time off to bask in their glory. Gary please go back to India when you have had your rest and spent time with your family. I am an ardent India fan and I think you have been their greatest asset and your leaving is going to leave a hole in the heart of the players - it wil be very hard for them to adjust to another coach. Well done Dhoni, Gary and the rest of team. Sachin you are hero.

Posted by IMObserver on (April 5, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

Gary, you are the man to help South Africa win the World Cup in 2015. Your history with India wil be useful in intilling the confidence South African tean and get rid of that oversimplified diagnoses: Choke. It would be for the good of the game of cricket if South Africa does win the next World Cup. Cricket need atleast four competitive teams rather than one dominant team. GO AND HELP YOUR MOTHERLAND.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

Thanks Gary........ very very tough to replace a genuine, motivating person like u. 1.2 billion wil miss u........

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

Gary Kirsen as coach + MS Dhoni as captain + Sachin Tendulkar as player is a great combo that worked for India.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

Guru Gary.. after your holiday please come back !! We need you.. cricket needs you.. India needs you !!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

We really miss u Garry..........

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

Congrats and thank you Guru Gary.......

Posted by FunkyRaj on (April 5, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

What an awesome guy! If he does go on coach South Africa, they might finally break their world cup duck.

Posted by rockz.andy on (April 5, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

Gary Kirsten The kind of change he brought to team is nothing short of outstanding see the kind of dedication how to treat a player you showed the world how to get the best out of the player the kind of dignity that he brought to the coach Hats off Gary! what a fabulous interview this was i'm extreemely thankful to this article who contributed for this it can change the persons attitude and bring the best in the person fantastic one by cricinfo! keep it up and best wishes

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

Thank you very much Gary, thank you for everything. Best of luck for your future.

- A happy Indian Cricket fan.

Posted by bluebillion on (April 5, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

Brilliant stuff Gary. Thanks a ton to you and the likes of Paddy Upton. India wouldnt have done it without you guys. Gary's not just been the best coach India has had, I think he has been the best cricket coach ever to coach any team. You have set really high standards for your successor and I dont know how the players are going to adjust to the next coach who will surely not be as good as you were. Au revoir (and please dont coach the Saffers!)

Posted by rockz.andy on (April 5, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Gary Kirsten The kind of change he brought to team is nothing short of outstanding see the kind of dedication how to treat a player you showed the world how to get the best out of the player the kind of dignity that he brought to the coach Hats off Gary! what a fabulous interview this was i'm extreemely thankful to this article who contributed for this it can change the persons attitude and bring the best in the person fantastic one by cricinfo! keep it up and best wishes

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

pls. dont go GARY, we will feel ur absence .....wishing u a very very happy & successful life..........

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

A super coach with a never-say-die attitude and a humble man. Gary has been an inspiration and will never ever be forgotten by this country. Thank You Gary for everything and what you have given to Indian Cricket, the whole country and all Indians would miss you. Have a great future.

Good Luck ...

Posted by Savi3 on (April 5, 2011, 8:32 GMT)

A very good interview. But one question missing. I would hv loved to ask Gary what areas he thinks india needs to improve on to sustain the winning habit. perhaps finding more fast bowlers?

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

This has been a fantastic week for Team India, I hope this momentum rubs of on Indians in all arenas apart from Cricket. There is a lot to learn and apply from, the Garrys, the Dhoni's, the Sachin's, all the team members and the support staff who were like one unit and won the world cup. I, think corporate India, Polticians, political parties and all Indians should take a leaf out of India'ss victory. We need to put such effort in every sphere of India to make the country proud and successful.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

I felt very happy and proud of India's performances these last 2 or 3 years...they seem to have undergone a major metamorphesis since Gary took over as coach.Sure they did perform reasonably well under John Wright, but Greg Chappell coming along threatened to take away all they had achieved under John.Thank God BCCI thought fit to get rid of Greg and get Gary.Sadly Gary leaving the job he seemed to love so much will impact the team.Wish they can replace him with maybe a 90% as good coach...someone like maybe Stephen Fleming(if Chennai S.K will let him go).I do not expect an Aussie coach(there is talk of Langer) to continue in Gary's vein...if he is so good, why doesn't Aus take him for themselves? Well, Gary, thanks for making India the best and all the best to you in whatever you decide to do...I am sure you will succeed.

Posted by Pathiyal on (April 5, 2011, 8:25 GMT)

congrats to Gary Kirsten....a career dating back from brilliant batting to brilliant coaching.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

Dear Gary, No words left to express our (we Indians) feelings and gratitude towards you. We just want to say, THANK YOU, WE MISS YOU AND A TIGHT WARM HUG :) WE WISH YOU KEEP A SINGING HEART ALWAYS.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:17 GMT)

Thanks for your wonderful contributions to this team Gary. We will miss you surely, but all good things have to end somewhere. Our best wishes for a great career ahead.

Posted by TKris on (April 5, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

A couple of things to notice. First is Gary's comment: "We really based it [selection of team members] on the team we were playing against and the conditions we felt we were confronted with." If Gary should become the coach of SA, then the Indian team will be in real trouble because Gary knows our weak spots and can assemble a better SA team against India. Second, while it is true that the Indian team has got the capability to come back from low situation, would they be able to avoid going low in the first place, at least in 70 to 80% of the games they play? Right now it looks like they have this pattern of go-low-then-come-back in almost every other game.

Posted by BiSONN on (April 5, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

Thank you for the amazing contribution you have made to Indian cricket, Mr. Kirsten. An absolute pleasure having someone like you coach our side. I can only hope that your replacement is half as good as you. Thank you for taking the Indian team to a level we fans only dreamed of some years ago.

Posted by quotejester on (April 5, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

They should look at Stephen Fleming to replace Kirsten. He works well with Dhoni for CSK, and is in the same mold as his predecessor. Besides he was regarded as one of the best and shrewdest captains that New Zealand have had.

Posted by Vijayck on (April 5, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

Best Team + Best Captain + Best Coach = World Cup Well done every one!!!!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Guru gary and great dhoni are öne of the greatest combination ever for indin cricket.

Posted by indinakl on (April 5, 2011, 8:03 GMT)

Hey Gary.. go and have a nice time with your family and enjoy your holidays. But remember to comeback because we are waiting.

Posted by pritam_nd_pomi on (April 5, 2011, 8:02 GMT)

bring back Gary again , say after 2 yrs....

Posted by Flat_Pitch_Bully on (April 5, 2011, 7:52 GMT)

We'll miss you Gary!! I am sure I will, can only imagine the loss to the team! :-(

Posted by Ganes.V on (April 5, 2011, 7:45 GMT)

Thanks GARY You were one of the best. And you ensured that you did not have problems with captain or other players. and also made sure that whilst you were there- India won the WORLD CUP. So WELL DONE

Posted by kekaneshrikant on (April 5, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

Absolutely Fantastic Coach and a great motivator. India will miss you a lot, Gary!! He is indeed the best ever coaches INDIA has ever had. Gary's commitment towards cricket speaks loads of volume and the results are seen by every one.

Posted by narren on (April 5, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

Gary you are a awesome coach!!! You will always be remembered for what you contributed to Indian Cricket..Thanks a lot...

Posted by sagar.gupta on (April 5, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

this is the best interview i have ever come accross... its a management lesson in its own... TAKE A BOW GARY.....

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

good things in life do not last forever. same is the case with Gary and Ind cricket. but that 3 yr phase has shaped ind. cricket to a new level to continue fighting and being in top. "miss u" would be a small word. have a great holiday, Gary...

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:31 GMT)

I had never thought any coach would get such a love but Gary simply deserve every bit of it and in fact a lot more. Thank you very much Gary. We would have loved to see more of you, but your decision is more important and we absolutely respect it.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:31 GMT)

Absolutely Fantastic Interview. A nice case study for all CEOs to get best out of their employees. A must read for all to learn so many things.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (April 5, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

There are some people you cant help but like!!! Gary is one them. Even during his playing days there something about him that he just did let his deed talk instead of talks. And he was a trier. Some of his hundreds were proper grinding and grinding the bowling down... And knowing that by working hard one can get there... He just transformed that thought to Team India which was not short of talent but needed the right attitude.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

A very humble person and a great coach. India is always going to respect and love you.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:28 GMT)

""I am not a coach who stands at the back of the nets and tells people what to do. I would get bored very quickly doing that. I have to be working. I have to be doing something in the nets. I can't just stand like that.""


Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

One of the best coaches... India will surely miss him!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

What a guy! Just look at all the comments above and the esteem and affection in which he is held by all the Indian players. @Kamal Seth - You expressed it the best, though I wonder about your choice of Stephen Fleming as the best replacement. Avadh Lal

Posted by Reesh89 on (April 5, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

WHO IS GARY?! okay so dhoni so good like him a lot yes very nice. EVeryone is shaking thin, shaking thin like a guacamole. Peace.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:13 GMT)



LOVE U GARRY.........

Posted by purveshb2011 on (April 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

thanx a lot garry 4 all what u have done......i only wish u cud stay longer

Posted by Harry0009 on (April 5, 2011, 7:09 GMT)

One of the finest coaches India has ever had. Always working behind the scenes while producing results!. Is is sad Guru Gary is leaving. India will miss u a lot! And hope we get you back again!

Posted by Manoj_Gautam on (April 5, 2011, 7:06 GMT)

Considering the contirubution by Gary ......He should be hounoured with INDIAN CITIZENSHIP....(honorary)

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

thank you so much gary for your support and hard work... luv u ....

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

Gary Kirsten is the only South African to be part of world cup winning squad. Kudos to South africa too. Its my favorite team except when its playing against India :)

Posted by bharath74 on (April 5, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

best coach along vt john wright

Posted by mlavamurthy on (April 5, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

A video interview of this great man would have done justice. the reason being that he nevers appears in the tv interviews. good interview thou.

Posted by TerryRoberts on (April 5, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

An Amazing character!!! esp after al that was ruined by a certain highly reowned Greg chappel!!!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

No doubt Gary is an excellent coach. He did an amazing job. This interview stands out also because of the questions Nagraj asked. You can clearly see the difference between cricinfo writer/journalist and other journalists from mainstream media(like NDTV,ToI etc.).

Posted by kaapi on (April 5, 2011, 6:53 GMT)

We are going to miss you too Gary! To just come in and give your everything for a team that was not your own is extremely commendable. You were a person everyone could look up to, and one of the main reasons we lifted the cup this time. I hope the Indian team carries on its tremendous performance and lessons learnt into the next era of dominance in world cricket. And we Indians like to bond, so do keep coming back and talk to the team now and then, even if not in a professional capacity. Hats off, you will always be looked at fondly by us.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

ur the best thing which happened to indian cricket after sachin, it will be very diff to fill your shoes...........i will always cherish the time u n ur son shopped along with me

Posted by Vijay_MatchWinner on (April 5, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Excellent interview Gary. We Team India will miss you as Coach. Thanks for everything. You had been an outstanding person as coach

Posted by memoriesofthepast on (April 5, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Gary Kirsten remained true to his coaching job-well done Gary. Greg Chappell proved to the worst coach of all. All credit to those who recommended Gary Kirsten's name and to BCCI for appointing Gary as the coach. I would like to know who was the coach of Indian cricket team that won the 1983 World Cup outside India in England. Celebrations for WC 2011 winners have been very high compared to those for WC 1983 winners. They initiated this desire to win a WC title and they showed that India is able to win WC even outside India. They went to the final as underdogs and defended a target of only 183 runs successfully against 1975 and 1979 WC winners West Indies. 1983 WC final win is very very high above this 2011 WC final win. I expected Indian team of WC2011 final to acknowledge the 1983 WC winners. Kapil, Mohinder, Sunil, Madan, Balwinder, Kirmani, Binny and all those members of 1983 Wc final-u have achieved more than winning 1983WC for India.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

Great interview of a great coach... The talent was always there in India, it was about shaping and moulding it.. and Gary has done that wonderfully along with Dhoni.. I wish you best of luck for your future endeavours.. India owes you one buddy...

Posted by rvn4159 on (April 5, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

Gary, our profound thanks and sincere gratitude for your turning around the team. You will be missed a lot. All the very best in the future.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

at least there were some south africans involved in the world cup final....well done gary and eric! well done to india...they deserve it!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:16 GMT)

i m very emotional while reading this article...........superb.... one sentence i want tho shear you understand the experience without teacher.........three cheers for guru garry

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

Well done Gary, definitely India will miss Gary, it's not Indian Cricket team alone, entire India will miss him. It's really sad when knowing that Gary is leaving, i never imagine how people of India is going to behave when Sachin get retires from cricket. I want to say one thing, Indian people respect Gary as close as how they respect Sachin Tendulakar. Very very bad miss but he has his own life. Gary got the most respect than any other coaches of India because he did things rather than speaking. Hats off to Gary. I sense that he will become coach of Indian for the second time, that time Gary will be welcomed like Indian son.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:10 GMT)

garyyyyy, once u stared india with your bat. now you are in our hearts, hearts of each can you count in number? billions..

Posted by cricmatters on (April 5, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

Self belief and discipline is what team India needed and what it got from this wonderful coach and his support staff. Staying away from the lime light and working behind the scenes away from the media frenzy paid its dividend. Gary Kirsten was extemely hard working, strong willed and disciplined as a player and he brought those same traits to his coaching as well. He took the time to build relationships and nurtured their natural talent and flair without overcoaching them. It would be very hard to find another coach like him as he has already ticked all the boxes by moulding team India into a winning unit in a very short span of time.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

He said he "needs a break. some time off." He said in another interview that he is leaving and no one has approached him to do otherwise. That means he would be interested in coming back! BCCI, do the right thing! Talk to him! Renew his contract! Give him a 1 year vacation. come on!

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

We MISS you Gary. We miss you a lot. Hope you come back again

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 5:14 GMT)

India would miss you Gary. We don't want you to go!!!

Posted by shirishdedhia on (April 5, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

by far the Bestest of the coach we had. A gem of a person.Without him it was not possible. never he himself brought in front and worked silently. Thank You. would like to see you again coaching Team India in future.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

Absolutely a fantastic interview of one of the best leaders and coaches of our times. A world champion team needs a world champion coach. This interview is a manual, a guide or a Bible or Geeta for hardwork,commitment and most importantly on how to get the best out of people. The focus and inspiration for the bigger picture is incredible. Getting people to play for something bigger than themselves and come out of any difficult situation everytime is unique and remarkable. Hats off to the best coach in the world! Wonder who can possibly replace such a legend! The person who comes closest to my mind is Stephen Fleming!

Posted by microno1seanand on (April 5, 2011, 4:15 GMT)

All I want to say is.. Take a BOW GARY!!

Posted by sunnymate on (April 5, 2011, 4:09 GMT)


Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

Thanks so much Gary for your tremendous contribution to Indian cricket.It's so obvious that you won the heart of every cricketer right from Sachin,Dhoni to the youngest entrant and was the catalyst in turning India to a superlative squad. We all wish you the very best in the future. You have been a superlative cricketer for South Africa-think the time is just ripe for you to take charge of South African cricket now and 'crush' or overcome the jinx of getting defeated at the knock-out stage of every World Cup

Posted by   on (April 5, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

A selfless coach who took team to heights !

Posted by East_West on (April 5, 2011, 3:45 GMT)

.............learned a lot more about myself in this job, and who I was as a person, and how I could lead people better...." This STATEMENT and the. whole interview is worth reading AGAIN AND AGAIN!!! I am going to save this LINK for the rest of my life"! I am sure Dave Whatmore and Mike Buchhanan come close [am not sure these spellings are right!!]!!! Thanks Nagaraj for this interview!! and also thanks to all "Cricinfo" hardworking writers for bringing us such a great coverage!!

Posted by timus6778 on (April 5, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

gary the great..perhaps the deserve an honorary indian citizenship...president, prime minister..have u given a thought onto this???

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