Inside Gary Kirsten's India Coaching Stint: Sachin's Alleged Unhappiness And Unraveling The Dynamics Of The Team

While speaking at a YouTube show, 'The Final World Cricket Podcast', former South African opener Gary Kirsten recalled his tenure as the head coach of India. Surprisingly, Gary’s statements revealed that many contemporary Indian players were unhappy regarding his appointment. 

Regarding Sachin's reaction, the former coach confirmed that the Indian cricketing legend was utterly dissatisfied with learning his expectations of him. Contrarily, the Protean veteran highly praised MS Dhoni, sharing that he was among the few cricketers who put the team's interests first. 

Ex-India Coach’s Massive Revelation Regarding Sachin

Gary Kirsten has already registered himself among the greatest coaches of the Indian cricket team after winning 2011's ICC World Cup. His vision was pretty clear since he joined the squad in 2008, filled with a pool of superstars. Although there was immense potential to achieve excellence, the team had already hit rock bottom then.

The Indian fans were asking for dynamic changes after suffering shocking losses at the hands of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the 2007 World Cup. Exactly at that moment, Kirsten stepped in and tried to reconcile with Sachin Tendulkar, who was by then considering a possible retirement. 

As per statements recorded in the show, since Gary Kirsten’s debut match as the coach, he attempted to invite a different form of leadership through Dhoni. Simultaneously, he sat with Sachin to clear out his expectations of him. To put it simply, the former Indian legend was asked to deliver more than what his role was back then for the betterment of the squad. 

These discussions always didn’t come up positively as Sachin many times disclosed that he wasn’t enjoying playing any further. Moving forward, it was becoming trickier for Gary to accommodate his strategies, mainly because he was dealing with Team India! 

Anybody would hardly disagree that individual stars usually get more hype and stand out compared to the unit. Thus, building a world-beating team and simultaneously gelling with the players became more difficult. Kirsten confirmed that ensuring these elements was his key to garner success at the international level. 

Dhoni’s Impact When the Team Needed a Leader

Gary Kirsten’s records as the Indian coach are undeniably impressive, registering a win %age of 52.63% and 42.86% in home and away conditions, respectively. His journey became much easier as he received adequate leadership support from Dhoni. 

According to Kirsten, Dhoni has always prioritised the team's motive and never backed from making vital decisions. Unsurprisingly, Dhoni remained vocal regarding the cumulative attempts to head out and win trophies while captaining the side. His disciplined routine was well instilled in the squad, resulting in the rise of new stars across all formats.

Gary Kirsten was quite lucky to coach a team that already featured stars who do not require mentorship in the literal sense. All he had to make sure of was working closely with Dhoni and deploying some essential man-management strategies that were missing before. The duo successfully clicked, leading India back to the number 1 spot in the ICC ODI rankings after 7 years in 2009. 

In the five-day format and ODIs, India continued showing prominence under Kirsten's era. Later on, he returned to India to coach the then Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore sides. However, Gary Kirsten’s IPL career finally met success after he led Gujarat Titans to the trophy win in their very first appearance. 

Recently, he reminisced about his stint serving as the Indian coach and shared a lot regarding his journey. 

What is Gary Kirsten’s age?
Born in November 1967, Gary Kirsten is currently 55 years old.
Who is Gary Kirsten’s wife?
Deborah Kirsten is the spouse of former South African run-scoring machine Gary Kirsten.
How much is Gary Kirsten’s net worth?
This middle-aged Protean cricket coach reportedly shares a net worth of $1.5 Million in 2023.