Gary Kirsten coach of Team IndiaGary Kirsten coach of Team India
Gary Kirsten: ICC

Gary Kirsten is the most successful coach of Team India. Under his leadership, India became No.1 in the Test rankings in 2009. Later on, after two years in 2011 Indian won the ICC World Cup after 28 years under his leadership.


Gary Kirsten explained how he became the coach of Team India in just 7 minutes despite being inexperienced in the field of coaching and during this he also told who played a key role in making him a coach.

Kirsten said in the ‘Cricket Collective’ podcast,

“I’ve got an email from Sunil Gavaskar – would I consider coaching the Indian team,” Kirsten said. “I thought it was a hoax. I never even answer it. He sent me another email, and said, ‘Will you come for an interview?’. I showed it to the wife, and she said, ‘They must have the wrong person’.

Kirsten said, “This is how I entered this area strangely, which was also right.” I mean to say that I had no experience of coaching. ”

Gary Kirsten and Anil Kumble laughed

Kirsten also said that Anil Kumble laughed at him when he came to India for an interview. He said,

“I went for the interview, it was a bizarre experience in many ways because I kind of arrived at the interview and I see Anil Kumble, who’s the current Indian captain, and he says, ‘What are you doing here?’. I said, ‘I have come for an interview to coach you!’. So we kinda laugh about it. It was quite a laughing matter,”

Gary Kirsten had no prior coaching experience. Kirsten added, “…I am in this board meeting with these BCCI officials, and it was quite an intimidating environment; the secretary of the board said, ‘Mr. Kirsten, would you like to present your vision for the future of Indian Cricket?’, and I said, ‘Well, I don’t have one.’ No one had asked me to prepare anything for it. I had just arrived there,” Kirsten said.


Ravi Shastri’s ice-breaker question

With this, Gary told that Ravi Shastri asked him the ice-breaker question during that interview which impressed the committee. Kirsten said,

“Ravi Shastri, who was on the committee, said to me, ‘Gary, tell us, what did you guys as the South African team do to beat the Indians?’. I thought it was a great ice-breaker because I could answer it and I answered it in about two-three minutes without saying strategies that we kind of probably use to this day.

“He was suitably impressed, as was the rest of the board, because three minutes later – I had been in in the interview about seven minutes – the secretary of the board slides across a contract to me,”


Contract of Greg Chappell

Gary Kirsten also reveals that he received the contract named Greg Chappell who was the coach of the team India earlier. Kirsten said,

“(I) pick up the contract, and the first page, I am looking for my name frantically, and I can’t see my name, but I see Greg Chappell’s name, who was the previous coach.

“So I slide the contract back and I say, ‘Sir, I think you have given me your previous coach’s contract. He kind of looks at it a little bit perturbed, and takes out a pen from his pocket, scratches out his (Chappell) name and writes my name on it,”

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