Gary Kirsten, a flamboyant batsman from South Africa known for his batting skills under pressure took another big role from November 2007. COACHING a team!! After winning the World T20 in 2007, India signed Gary as their national coach in March 1st 2008.
Gary started his tenure in the mid Australian tour where India lost the series against the Aussies due to some controversial incidents and poor umpiring decisions. Later in the South Africa tour, Gary used his skills for the first time against his home country not as a player but as a coach and helped to draw the series 1-1. He then injected young blood to the team and the likes of Kohli, Raina, Rohit, Yusuf and Ashwin came into attention. Under Gary’s tenure, India had a rare habit of winning tournament finals though they lost to Pakistan in the Kitply cup final and stumbled to SriLanka’s mysterious spinner Ajantha Mendis in the Asia Cup.
India became the No1 Test team by beating SriLanka 2-0 in 2009. Later in 2010, Won the CW Bank series against Australia where Tendulkar played some superb knocks of 91 and 117* in the two finals. Many players gave credit to Gary for their meticulous rise in performance. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar commented that Gary is the best Indian coach ever appointed. Indian captain Dhoni then claimed Gary as “the best thing ever happened to Indian cricket”. Gambhir credited Gary has the reason behind his stupendous form.
Indian team started winning as their habit. Later in the early 2011, Gary announced not to continue the job as he wants to spend time with his family back in Johannesburg. India went to the World Cup 2011 as strong favorites with stronger batting line-up. India started very well and went on to knock the defending champion Australia out of the World Cup in the quarterfinal. Then they knocked arch rivals Pakistan in the semifinal. India snatched the World Cup after 28 years on beating Sri Lanka in the final at Wankhede, Mumbai. Gary later resigned the job and joined as South Africa national coach.