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All eyes on Gary Kirsten ahead of MCG battle

All eyes on Gary Kirsten ahead of MCG battle
Having coached one team to the World Cup title, Gary Kirsten is now helping plot another nation’s bid for the coveted prize, and the two will meet when India take on South Africa on Sunday. Kirsten, the former South African opening batsman, was India’s coach when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men won the World Cup in Mumbai four years ago. He left the job immediately after the tournament to take over as South Africa’s coach, serving the Proteas for two years before handing the baton to his deputy Russell Domingo.

The 47-year-old is now back with AB de Villiers’ side as a consultant for 50 days a year and joined the squad on Wednesday after returning from the players’ auction in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he coaches the Delhi Daredevils franchise. Kirsten will be at hand to watch the two sides meet at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday in a key Pool B match, which will almost certainly assure the winner a place in the quarterfinal. Both teams won their opening games with India thrashing arch-rivals Pakistan by 76 runs in Adelaide and South Africa beating neighbours Zimbabwe by 62 runs in Hamilton.

Kirsten was not around in Hamilton when the mighty Proteas slipped to a nervous 83 for four before brilliant centuries from David Miller and J P Duminy turned the game around against their lowly-ranked rivals. South Africa have never won the World Cup despite being one of the most powerful sides in modern-day cricket and Kirsten’s input will be vital as the Proteas seek to overcome the ‘chokers’ tag. “I’m desperately hoping that we win the World Cup this year,” Kirsten said ahead of Sunday’s clash but added he will not be carried away emotionally by Sunday’s match. “In a professional environment, work is work. Whatever the colours you wear, you’re expected to give your best shot,” he said.
Agencies

Agencies

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