Gary Kirsten has revealed that when he took over the Indian cricket team’s coach role, Sachin Tendulkar walked up to him where he wanted to give up cricket as he was not enjoying his cricket. He also opened up on how he had to facilitate an environment which could get the best out of Sachin.
After India’s painful exit in the 2007 World Cup at the hands of Bangladesh, Sachin Tendulkar in his book revealed how he wanted to exit from the game. Before Gary Kirsten was appointed as the head coach, Sachin’s form saw a huge dip as India crashed out of the world competition.
The right-handed batsman also mentioned that it was the West Indian great, Viv Richards who helped him come out of that phase in his cricketing career. However, with a new coach in the form of the South African, things took a different turn in the Mumbaikar’s career. Looking back at the incident, Gary Kirsten revealed how Sachin told him that he was batting out of position and wanted to leave the sport.
“If I think of Sachin at that time. Where he was when I arrived in India... he wanted to give up the game. According to him he was batting out of position, he wasn’t enjoying his cricket at all. Three years later, he scores 18 international hundreds in three years, goes back to batting where he wants to bat, and we win the World Cup,” Kirsten said on talkSport’s Following On podcast. “
Under the tutelage of Kirsten, the Indian veteran showcased his best version in the decade, scoring over 2149 runs in the three year period from 2008 leading to 2011 World Cup. On top of that, the right-hander’s best year came in 2010, where he named as Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year after his double-century against South Africa. However, from the South African’s perspective, he did not do a lot to the Mumbaikar’s technique. The former World Cup-winning coach reckoned that a change in the environment brought about the best version of the veteran batsman.
“For me, all I did was facilitate an environment for him to thrive. I didn’t tell him anything. He knew the game, but what he did need was an environment – not only him, all of them – an environment set up where they could be the best version of themselves,” Kirsten said.