Former Proteas batsman Gary Kirsten, who has previously mentored the star-studded Indian cricket team and IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils for two seasons, will be working with Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore as a batting coach in the next edition of Indian Premier League.
Kohli, who made a giant stride in international cricket under the mentorship of Kirsten, has taken his game to a different level altogether in the last 5 years. No wonder, Kirsten is looking forward to the stint with RCB as he deemed the India skipper a superstar.
"He (Virat) is a superstar who is determined to perform every time he walks onto the field," Gary Kirsten was quoted by Ahmedabad Mirror as saying.
Comparing Kohli’s captaincy style with MS Dhoni (who was India captain when Kirsten was the coach), the 50-year-old added: “Virat is vastly different as captain from MS Dhoni but equally effective."
Talking about the ongoing Test series between India and South Africa where the former have conceded an unassailable 2-0 lead to the Proteas, Kristen opined that India should have added an extra batsman to counter the formidable pace attack of the home team.
"Batting is traditionally tough in the South African conditions, so the more the batsmen the better (it is)," the former India coach said.
"I have always believed that a Test match team should contain as many specialists as possible in it. Whilst taking 20 wickets allows a team to win games, scoring enough runs will always keep a team in the game," he elaborated.
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who has done exceptionally well in India’s overseas tours previously, was left out of the team at the expense of Rohit Sharma in Cape Town and Centurion. When asked about his move Gary said a player with right technique should have been preferred.
"I'm not sure what the right selection is but to be successful in South Africa requires a certain type of technique and resilience. Those types of players are crucial in South Africa," he remarked.
Gary Kirsten was instrumental in shaping up the Indian cricket team following the chaotic exit of Greg Chappell. After officially stepping in as Indian team's chief coach in early 2008, Kirsten enjoyed a reasonably fruitful stint which eventually ended with Dhoni’s troops reaching the pinnacle in ICC Test ranking besides being the worthy winner of 2011 World Cup. It was his visionary eyes that brought the exceptional talents like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in contention.