Kirsten: Virat Kohli has been an inspirational leader

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© BCCI Media

Kirsten: Virat Kohli has been an inspirational leader

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Indian Coach Gary Kirsten has hailed Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli as an inspirational leader and player, although he refused to compare him with MS Dhoni. He also supported the Colour and black quota that is soon to be included in the sporting schemes of South Africa.

Gary Kirsten was the most successful coach of Team India guiding them to World Cup glory in 2011. In his tenure as the coach, he successfully maintained the balance in the team and has been praised by many players for his man management capability.

Kirsten is now on a visit to Rajasthan to establish his Cricket Academy. Speaking to PTI, the former South Africa batsman praised Virat Kohli and his attacking captaincy.

Kirsten said, “Virat has been a great captain for India. His talent was always unquestionable. He has led by example with his on-field performances. His leadership at the Test level has worked really well for the national team. The best part about Virat is that he looks so inspirational as a leader in the manner he walks in the field.”

Kirsten, however, refused to get into the comparison between MSD and Virat and said, “Dhoni is a very good captain. I had thoroughly enjoyed working with Dhoni during my tenure as India coach. But since I have not watched the Indian team play all formats on a consistent basis, it will not be fair on me to compare Virat and Dhoni’s consistency levels.” 

The ex-Protea opener also came out in support of the quota scheme for the coloured and black athletes of the nation for Sports.

He said, “I completely support the inclusive policy in national sporting teams. It gives equal opportunity and is truly representative of the values our great nation (South Africa) stands for. It is a bold step in a forward direction. It is a step that addresses the imbalances of past.”

South African cricket has had a long history with the interplay of race and cricket including the long ban for apartheid imposed on them. Supporting the quota, Kirsten said, “It is a strong move something that was needed since it has been 25 years (the cricket team was back in international fold in 1991) since post-apartheid era and the integration is more necessary than ever. Whoever is a part of South African society should be able to embrace the decision as a citizen of this country. It is a great decision and it has taken 40 years to reach here.”

Speaking about his vision of establishing the cricket academy in Rajasthan, Kirsten said, “It is wonderful to work with the Rajasthan Cricket Academy. I am here on a business venture. My high performance academy will be helping the talented Gen-Next cricketers of Rajasthan get a taste of quality modern day coaching which look at the technical as well as the mental aspect of their game. They will learn qualities of strategic planning, reacting to match situations.” 

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