Team India is determined to put an end to their ICC title drought as they gear up for the upcoming home ODI World Cup, led by captain Rohit Sharma. The schedule for the tournament was unveiled earlier this week, with India set to kick off their campaign against the formidable five-time champions Australia on October 8. The 2011 World Cup, which was co-hosted by India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, holds a special place in Indian cricket history. Coached by the astute Gary Kirsten, Team India had a remarkable campaign and emerged victorious in a thrilling final against Kumar Sangakkara’s Sri Lankan team.
Now, in the forthcoming World Cup, the onus rests on the duo of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid to bring an end to India’s trophyless streak in ICC tournaments over the past decade. During the schedule-unveiling event organized by the ICC in Mumbai, Virender Sehwag, a prominent member of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, shared his thoughts on a range of topics pertaining to the upcoming World Cup.
Virender Sehwag discussed his favorites, India’s chances, and his own experiences at the prestigious tournament, among other things. He also addressed the criticism faced by Rahul Dravid following India’s recent defeat in the World Test Championship final against Australia, offering an intriguing perspective on the role of coaches and specifically mentioning Gary Kirsten.
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Sehwag emphasized that the players hold the key to a coach’s reputation and went on to assert that it was the Indian team that shaped Gary Kirsten’s coaching career.
“Once the player is on the ground, the reputation of the coach depends on him. If the player performs well, the coach is praised, and vice versa. We reached the WTC Final, but no one was talking about the fact that we made it there. Everyone criticized us for losing the final. Rahul Dravid is a good coach, but ultimately, it is the player who has to deliver,” remarked Virender Sehwag at the ICC event.
“We made Gary Kirsten after winning the 2011 World Cup. He coached many teams thereafter but didn’t win anything except the IPL. Even in the IPL, Ashish Nehra was working a lot more than Kirsten. And this is actually true, you can see it even while watching on television,” Virender Sehwag candidly expressed his viewpoint.
Since parting ways with Team India in 2011, Gary Kirsten had coaching stints with South Africa from 2011 to 2013 but was unable to guide the side to an ICC title. He then had an unsuccessful tenure with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League before being appointed as the head coach of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019.
Nonetheless, Kirsten found success in 2022 when he joined the Gujarat Titans as the head coach, leading them to victory in their inaugural season of the IPL. Virender Sehwag emphasized the importance of keeping the players fresh and ensuring they perform at their best. He suggested that the Indian coaching staff should prioritize these factors. With a successful implementation of this approach, Sehwag expressed optimism that the Indian captain could lift the World Cup.