November 23, 1967, Cape Town, Cape Province
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Rondebosch BHS; University of Cape Town
Gary Kirsten was never blessed with the flair and the almost pure technique of his half-brother Peter, but his discipline, temperament and his penchant for hard work stood out during his days as South Africa's opener. Then, all those virtues brought him rich rewards after his playing days too, as he became one of the most successful and popular coaches of India. The side went to the top of the Test rankings during his stint, which ended, quite fittingly, with a World Cup triumph in 2011.
As a batter, he had the determination, the ability to concentrate for long periods, and a burning desire to score runs. A left-hander with a relatively unique technique, Kirsten simply worked out his strengths and weaknesses and based his game around them. Calm and level-headed, he brought a healthy degree of common sense to the art of batting. Periodically, he endured patches when he persistently got out in similar fashion, but he worked through the problem, made the adjustments and played himself back into form.
He enjoyed particular success on the subcontinent, averaging 53.85 with four hundreds and seven half-centuries in 13 Tests in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
His best of 275, a result of batting for over 14 and a half hours as South Africa followed on against England at Kingsmead in 1999-00, was the second-longest in Test history. He then returned to haunt England in 2003 and gutsed out a crucial 130 in the Headingley Test, which South Africa won by 191 runs. His good form persuaded him to postpone his retirement until the end of the New Zealand tour in March 2004. Fittingly, he made a century in Hamilton - his 99th Test - and scored a typically gritty 76 in his final game to help South Africa tie the series.
After retiring, he spent some time with Warriors as a consultant batting coach and, in 2006, set up his own academy in Cape Town. In December 2007, he signed up as coach of India, and took them to No. 1 in Test cricket and World Cup success in 2011. After that he moved on to see if he could repeat the magic with his home country. While the global title didn't come, he did firmly establish South Africa as the No. 1 team in Tests. The highlights of his time with them were away series wins against England and then Australia in the latter half of 2012. He later coached in the IPL and other T20 leagues around the world.
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|Kallis XI vs SAf XI||85||--||18-Sep-2005||Centurion||OTHEROD|
|Kallis XI vs SAf XI||22||0/13||16-Sep-2005||Cape Town||OTHEROD|
|South Africa vs New Zealand||1 & 76||--||26-Mar-2004||Wellington||Test # 1692|
|South Africa vs New Zealand||1 & 1||--||18-Mar-2004||Auckland||Test # 1689|
|South Africa vs New Zealand||137 & 34*||--||10-Mar-2004||Hamilton||Test # 1686|