Every Indian bid an affable farewell to former Indian coach Gary Kirsten, after the triumphant ICC World Cup campaign, 2011. Every one said “We will miss you dear Gary”. But are we missing him so badly that we almost stopped performing after he ended his tenure as Indian coach? As everyone knows, after the tournament, Gary Kirsten moved on to South Africa to spend time with his family and eventually, he was appointed to coach his home country.
Gary Kirsten is the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket and every cricketer says a confident, unambiguous YES to this. He holds a fabulous batting record and he was an agile fielder. Very much apparent from the glorious Indian cricket era, he is a great coach too. He altruistically taught and imparted all his skills to the Indian team. He was such a great motivator. And he was also an assuagement to the seniors, like Sachin, in team after a horrible “Greg Chappell” era. He always backed juniors in the team and completely supported all the experiments and gambles of the captain. He gave complete freedom to players and at the same time, maintained balance in the team. He was a friend, more than a coach, to the entire team. And that’s why, he deserves the feat; Raina, Yuvraj, Kohli and others performed on the grounds of Wankhede as a part of World Cup winning celebrations – carrying him on their shoulders. He probably deserves this as much as Sachin does. Gary was omnipresent in the world of Indian cricket. This raises a question in my mind – “where is Duncan Fletcher then?”
It looks – at least to me – that the Indian cricket team is back in chaos now. It appears like the team, as a whole, is lacking motivation – a motivation to win, to perform. It was such a motivated team that played under Kirsten. Sehwag – as people say – is aiming for the position of captaincy now. Hopefully, this is not the reason, but, surely for some other reason, he has stopped being dangerous (to the opponents). How many days it has been since the very famous Sehwag-Gambhir combo gave a kick-start to the team. Sachin is almost at the verge of calling it a day and we have not seen the real Sachin in a while. Youngsters, once they perform and twice they do not.
Dhoni, perhaps, is the chief person who is missing Kirsten. He has become more of “should not lose” person than “must win” person. Looks like he is now not secure enough to show his true attitude. He is definitely missing backing from his former coach. Adding to the afflictions, Dhoni also has to take all the blame for losing. Dhoni and Gary were “the best” combination. Both think hatke, study the match on the same lines, loved experimenting (most of the times successful), supported each other and motivated others in the team. I seriously doubt if Duncan is playing a role in any of these!
Dear Gary, we “really” miss you!