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."
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures