Kirsten trusts 'leader' Dhoni to build on firm foundations

Departing India coach Gary Kirsten hailed the World Cup winning-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the best leader in contemporary cricket as he bid an emotional goodbye yesterday following a successful three years in charge.

The former South Africa opener, who refused an extension to his contract which ended at the completion of the World Cup, reckons Dhoni has a lot more to offer.

"I believe that he's the best captain in world cricket today. He's a leader by example," said Kirsten, who took over the reins of the India team in 2007. "He expects his troops to be ready for battle. He's calm and level-headed. I have never seen him lose his temper. If things don't go well, he takes the responsibility."

Kirsten, 43, left for South Africa yesterday after helping India become the No 1 Test side and win the World Cup after a gap of 28 years in his first stint as a national coach.

"Tonight I leave with my wife to return home to South Africa. It has been a remarkable journey with Team India over the last three years," an almost tearful Kirsten said. "This will remain one of the most cherished experiences of my life. Believe me when I say that this is one of the hardest of goodbyes that I ever had to say."

The cricketers and the India cricket board (BCCI) made repeated requests to him to stay on in the role but Kirsten refused to budge on his decision to return home to his family.

"I just want to take a break. Even I don't know what I am going to do next," said Kirsten, dressed in a BCCI blazer and tie. "I am going home to spend some time with my family. At some stage I have to consider my future. I am very fortunate to receive a few offers. I have turned them all down with a specific reason of wanting to have a good time after the Indian job and spend time with the family I have missed tremendously over the last three years."

Kirsten, who scored 34 international hundreds during his playing days, said it would be difficult for the as yet unnamed new coach to maintain the high standards that have been set but he felt that a strong foundation had been laid.

"We set our goals as a team way back in October 2008. We wanted to become the No 1-ranked Test team in the world and win the World Cup," he continued. "We have achieved both of these goals, and the players of both the test team and World Cup squad can be extremely proud of this magnificent achievement.

"It's going to be tough for the new coach in terms of the standards that has been set by the team. There's no reason why this team should not continue with success. The foundation has been set and there are some good young players coming through."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola, writes Ian Herbert
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Zoë Ball says having her two children was the best thing ever to happen to her
voices Thank you Zoë Ball for saying what all parents are afraid to admit...
Sport
Tim Sherwood celebrates after Aston Villa open the scoring against West Brom
football
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn