Gary Kirsten, former coach of the Indian cricket team during their victorious 2011 World Cup campaign, believes that the current Indian side possesses the potential to clinch another trophy in the near future. Kirsten expressed his confidence in India’s cricketing depth and their ability to compete at the highest level, emphasizing that World Cup success is challenging but within reach for the team.
India’s World Cup Journey:
Reflecting on India’s recent cricketing journey, Kirsten acknowledged the team’s impressive performances but highlighted the elusive nature of World Cup titles across formats. The coach, who guided India to their 2011 ODI World Cup triumph, pointed out the team’s recent setback in the 50-over World Cup final against Australia in Ahmedabad.
In an interview with PTI-Bhasha, Kirsten suggested that winning a World Cup requires strategic prowess, especially in knockout games. While refraining from specifying the exact adjustments needed, he expressed confidence in India’s capabilities and suggested that securing victories in upcoming tournaments is well within their reach.
General State of the Game:
Beyond India’s prospects, Kirsten shared his views on the overall state of the game, advocating for context to keep ODI cricket relevant. He expressed concern about bilateral series becoming less significant and proposed the idea of an annual world champion ODI team, possibly determined by a point system. Kirsten emphasized the importance of maintaining a competitive cricketing landscape.
Franchise Cricket and Grassroots Development:
Discussing the ongoing “club vs country” debate and the impact of franchise cricket, Kirsten emphasized the role of T20 leagues in providing opportunities for players who may not represent their countries. He cited the example of the SA 20 league in South Africa, highlighting its importance in keeping the game alive at the grassroots level and inspiring young talents.
Coaching and Future Endeavors:
When asked about the possibility of coaching the Indian team again, Kirsten remained diplomatic, expressing his enjoyment of working with the Gujarat Titans in the IPL. He praised the team’s new captain, Shubman Gill, for his impressive performances and eagerness to grow as a player.
Catch Trust Foundation:
In addition to his involvement in cricket, Kirsten shared insights into his Catch Trust foundation, founded nine years ago to address inequality in access to sporting opportunities for kids in South Africa. He discussed the foundation’s efforts in providing training and opportunities for young talents in economically disadvantaged areas.
Gary Kirsten’s optimism regarding India’s World Cup prospects reflects his faith in the team’s capabilities and depth in cricket. As the cricketing world eagerly awaits upcoming tournaments, Kirsten’s insights into the game’s dynamics, franchise cricket’s impact, and his commitment to grassroots development showcase his multifaceted contributions to the sport.