Kirsten’s departure will be big loss for India

Gary Kirsten`s low-profile coaching approach has been instrumental in Indian cricket team`s success in recent years and it will be a big loss for the team when he quits after the World Cup, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said on Tuesday.

Akram rated Kirsten as one of the best coaches in the world and said his three-year association with India has done wonders for the team.

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"Gary has done wonders for Team India. He is one of the best coaches that I have seen in international cricket. He has a quiet personality and does his job without much fuss. He plays a good part behind the scenes. He has always been a much organised cricketer and we saw that aspect in his coaching as well," Akram said.

"His qualities as a player and as a person rubbed on Team India as they performed well. M S Dhoni and his men will surely miss him in the dressing room. The management will also have a tough time in trying to find his replacement. But I feel India should concentrate on the World Cup rather than Kirsten. As they say, all good things must come to an end," Akram said.

Kirsten took over India coach in March 2008 and during his tenure, the team recorded Test and ODI series whitewash of Australia (2-0 and 1-0) and New Zealand (1-0 and 5-0) last year, both at home.

India also drew the home and away three-match Test series against South Africa 1-1, beat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home in 2009 and drew the subsequent Test series 1-1 last year.
Under Kirsten, India recorded their first ODI series victory in New Zealand after 40 years with a 1-0 win in 2009.

In the same year, India beat Sri Lanka 3-1 in the home ODI series but lost to Australia 2-4. They also defeated South Africa 2-1 last year.

In the recently-concluded ODI series against South Africa in South Africa, India lost 2-3, but Akram said that despite India losing the series to Proteas, they can win the World Cup.

"I think India will do well once the seniors are back. And it`s always a different feeling to play in your home ground with fans shouting for you. It definitely gives you a high," said Akram.

The former fast bowler, however, warned India not to depend too much on the exploits of Yusuf Pathan, who hit a brutal 70-ball 105 to pull his team out of a difficult situation against South Africa in the fifth and last one-dayer on Sunday, which the Indians ultimately lost by 33 runs.

"Yusuf certainly has stood out with his fantastic showing in the last game. He was the only consistent performer. He is a clean hitter and has the temperament of a big-match player. But I hope that India do not start relying too much on Yusuf as it can be suicidal," said Akram.

"The team surely missed the services of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar but Yusuf tried hard to propel India despite their absence. The key was to stay on the wicket in South Africa and Yusuf did just that," he said.


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