The batting coach and team mentor of the Ahmedabad franchise, Gary Kirsten has shared that he is looking forward to returning to the IPL and working with Hardik Pandya. He, however, added that Hardik will be very “motivated” to prove himself as a skipper. Notably, the franchise picked him for Rs 15 cr as well.
“I am looking forward to working with Hardik as a young and new captain,” said Kirsten to Star Sports show ‘IPL: SELECTION DAY’ on Saturday (January 22). “I think he will be really motivated to come in and make a plan and show what he is capable of at this level of the game as a leader. He’s a great player. What I have heard is that he is really keen to get into the mix and get involved. I think he understands the importance of this tournament. What I have heard is that he is raring to go and get into the mix from a leadership perspective. So, I think that’s really exciting for us to have a player with such a level of skill, motivated to do well in this competition.”
Notably, Gary Kirsten had been appointed as coach and mentor of the Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in 2019. He took over the reins from Daniel Vettori. Moreover, he was a batting coach in 2018 along with Ashish Nehra, who was the bowling coach as well. And, now he has said that he was comfortable working with Nehra as well as Vikram Solanki – the Director of Cricket at the franchise.
He stated: “To be working alongside Ashish Nehra and Vikram Solanki, who I have worked with before. I think we are all very excited about the opportunity. My role, designation is team mentor and batting coach, so I am going to have my hands full with handling a lot of work at ground level, but essentially, just to be assisting players in preparing them to be the best versions of themselves and the team that they are going to play. I love the coaching and I am really looking forward to the role. I have journeyed a lot through IPL, of four years. I’ve been involved in a lot of short format matches and got a decent understanding of what a team needs to do, how you need to find that winning flow, which is a priority in IPL.”
On the other hand, along with Hardik Pandya, Ahmedabad picked up spinner Rashid Khan and youngster Shubman Gill for 15 cr and 8 cr respectively as well. While Rashid played used to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gill was with Kolkata Knight Riders as well.
“I am really excited by both of them. They are both high performers – Rashid Khan has gone around the world, proven his value anywhere, so that’s an incredible signing for us. I am very excited to work with him – I haven’t yet – but I have seen him a lot, have met him few times, but have never really worked with him. So, I am looking forward to that. Certainly, watching him on the field, he’s a very competitive, young man that wants to do well for the franchise that he’s been involved in,” Gary Kirsten shared.
Gill is a fantastic player, who, in my view, should be playing for India. He is on the verge of that and has played already. With great flair and instinct for the game, he could be a match-winner on his own. From a batting perspective, I am looking forward to working with him and helping him give the best out of an IPL season,” Gary Kirsten signed off.