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Gary Kirsten is arguably the best coach India have ever had. Under him, the Indian team scaled unprecedented heights in all the formats. After taking the charge of the Indian team in 2008, the former South African cricketer helped India to reach the pinnacle of Test cricket in 2009. His brilliant stint with India ended fittingly as the Indian team won the World Cup in 2011. Currently in India as a part of Rajasthan’s coaching staff, the batting great spoke on various topics in an interaction with NDTV.
On his magnificent coaching stint with the Indian team:
It’s been a fantastic experience. I loved the three years with the Indian team and think I learnt as much as I was maybe able to share in any way. We just tried to create an environment where people could perform at their best. It was a cherished memory for me. I love the deep passion for the game, and the fact that you can go to any part of India and find good cricketers. That’s got to be exciting.
On the cricketing talent in the country:
It is fantastic to have so many players at the first-class level. Wherever you go within India, quality young players are churned out. I have always maintained, right from 2008, there is no reason why Indian cricket should not continuously be the best team in the world with the amount of resources available here.
I mean, look at their Test side now, there are some high-quality players that have been successful at the international level. They’ve got a great leader in Virat Kohli who is a fantastic player in his own right. Under his leadership, I don’t see any reason why they cannot do well for many, many years.
On the funniest player in the Indian team:
Suffice to say, there were characters in the team that you experienced. I still think Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) for me was the most enjoyable player to be involved in the Indian team. He was a very funny man and was always doing things that would make people laugh. I really enjoyed his company and you really need characters like him on a cricket team especially when you are together over so many days for a long period of time.
Watch the interview: