‘Sachin Was Not Happy When I Joined Team India, Meanwhile MS Dhoni…’

The Indian team has been blessed with many skillful coaches who have added their value to make this team super powerful in each and every department. Some coaches like Kapil Dev and Fletcher did not have a good stint with the team but Ravi Shastri and some others helped India to win many memorable trophies. One such coach was former South African batting star Gary Kirsten.

Under the coaching of Gary Kirsten, India won the most memorable trophy of its history in the 2011 ODI World Cup with the companionship of MS Dhoni. However, the former coach has now made a shocking revelation where he said that the first experience with India during his entry as coach was a bitter one.

Kirsten recently had a cricket podcast with Adam Collins where he talked about the “unhappy and disinterested ambience” when he was appointed as the head coach of team India after 2007 ODI World Cup. Kirsten revealed that the legendary Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar was not convinced with Kirsten and it was a kind of discomfort for the African legend.

“The standout for me then was what kind of leadership was then required to take this very talented team and turn it into a world-beating team. That was the conundrum for any coach moving into that situation. When I took over there was definitely a lot of scaring in the team. There was a lot of unhappiness and hence for me it was more important to understand each individual and where they felt they fitted in the team and what was going to make them play cricket for the sheer joy,” Kirsten said.

He further added,”Sachin was probably a stand out for me because he was deeply unhappy at the time that I joined the team. He felt he had a lot to offer, but he wasn’t enjoying his cricket and he was at a time in his career when he felt maybe he should retire. It was important for me to connect with him and make him feel that he had a massive contribution to make to the team and his contribution was more than what he needed to do.”

Talking ahead, Kirsten revealed how MS Dhoni boosted him with confidence and made a unique partnership with him. The way Dhoni groomed the things and made the things easy for everyone, makes him different from the players like Sachin Tendulkar.

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“Any coach would want a group of players playing for the name on the front of the short and not the name on the back of the shirt. India is a tough place with a lot of hype around individual superstar and you often get lost in what your own personal needs are. And Dhoni meanwhile was a standout as a leader as he was so focused on the team doing well he wanted to win trophies and have great success and he was very public about that. And that pulled a lot of other guys into line and quite simply Sachin started enjoying cricket as well,” he explained.

“MS and I formed the most unlikely partnership of captain-coach you will ever imagine in an international game, and we ended up having this incredible journey together.”

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