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Monday, April 4, 2011

Kirsten said that it was his honour and privilege to work with Sachin

Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten gives a thumbs-up to the crowd during celebrations of the World Cup win at Wankhede stadium on Saturday. (Reuters Photo)
Times of India
Gary Kirsten ended his term as the Indian team coach on a euphoric note, guiding the country to a historic World Cup triumph at the Wankhede stadium on Saturday. Speaking to TIMES NOW's Boria Majumdar, the coach said that it was his privilege and honour to serve team India.

He said, "The world cup win is a fantastic achievement and a dream for all. The credit of this win should go to the players, who have handled the expectations placed on them very well. It has been a fantastic experience to be a part of this team."

Kirsten's success mantra lay in giving as much space as they desired to the top Indian players. When asked about the same Kirsten modestly said that that the effort was always on the part of the players and he along with Paddy were just supporting them and understanding them.

"The players put in a lot of hard work. We were prepared to listen to them and worked really hard in understanding them. We gave them all they wanted from us to achieve the success they needed," said the former Proteas opener.

On his equation with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Kirsten said that it was his honour and privilege to work with him. He added, "It has been a privilege to work with one of the greatest sporting role models I have come across. He is a fantastic team man and works really hard on his game. He takes nothing for granted in his preparations."

When the South African took over the reins, Indian cricket was on the recovery trail after the tumultuous tenure of Greg Chappell, but as he prepares to leave, Kirsten surely has several reasons to rejoice.

During his hugely successful and path-breaking tenure, India have risen to the summit of Test cricket, by claiming the number one spot, before winning the ultimate prize of the limited-over game - the coveted World Cup.

Staying well in the background and not trying to steal the limelight, Kirsten had charted the glorious path for the Men in Blue.

The former Proteas opener, a dour and doughty batsman, brought to the coach's job single-minded dedication and devotion as well as steely determination that helped India scale one peak after another.

India needed Kirsten's calm and assured presence after their shock exit shock exit in the 2007 World Cup and how well he delivered.

It's significant to note that Kirsten's tenure also coincided with the re-emergence of champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar after being troubled by a spate of injuries.

Spearhead Zaheer Khan also rediscovered his form during Kirsten's tenure and has played a major role to the team's success.

The coming-of-age of Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, after his own spell of self-doubt, apart from the emergence of youngsters like Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina - in the limited overs format - during his the South African's time also helped India become a superpower.

Though Kirsten can take pride in the fact that Indian batting wears an assured look, in both Tests (with the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman around), the same cannot be said of the team's bowling resources because of loss of form and a spate of injuries.

That would be one of the biggest challenges for the man who takes over the reins from Kirsten.

But for now, the South African should bask in glory of his boys' success.

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