Kirsten and India in opposite ends for first time

Mar 30, 2012, 07:37 IST | A Correspondent

After lifting Kirsten on their shoulders for the World Cup win last year, Indians find him in SA camp today

After lifting Kirsten on their shoulders for the World Cup win last year, Indians find him in SA camp today

This must feel strange for Indian cricketers. Less than a year after hoisting Gary Kirsten on their shoulders for winning the World Cup at Wankhede Stadium, they will find their former coach in the enemy camp during today's one-off Twenty20 international against South Africa here at the Wanderers Stadium. Kirsten, who took over as coach of South Africa last June, had developed personal relationships with a number of the Indian players, especially Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar.

Though the stakes are not as high, for the match is organised to commemorate the relationship between the two nations, Kirsten will be plotting the downfall of his former team in an international match. Today, he will perhaps be emotionally tested.

Just like Kirsten, there have been others who have gone up against their former team. Here are some examples:

John Wright vs India: Wright worked as a selector-cum-consultant for New Zealand during India's last tour there in 2008-09. Wright was India's coach for five years from November 2000 during which India won a historic series against Australia in 2001 at home, won in Pakistan in 2003, and also guided the team to the final of the 2003 World Cup. Wright is currently coach of New Zealand.

Geoff Marsh vs Australia: Marsh, who was in charge when Australia won the 1999 World Cup in England, went up against his countrymen during future coaching stints with Zimbabwe (2001-2004) and Sri Lanka (2011-12). He was Zimbabwe's coach during their last tour to Australia in 2003-04 -- when Matthew Hayden scored 380 at Perth. As coach of Sri Lanka, he once again suffered losses against his countrymen in July.

Bob Simpson vs Australia: Simpson, who coached Australia between 1986 and 1996, served as a consultant to Team India in the late 1990s. However, due to reasons of loyalty, Simpson was not present with the Indians during Australia's tour to India in 1997-98.

In fact, Simpson flew back home to Australia, but returned to help the Indian team after the series. Though Simpson went up against Australia during the 1999 World Cup in England when he accompanied Team India.
Greg Chappell vs India: Chappell, who coached India between May 2005 and April 2007, accompanied the Australians as an assistant coach on their tour to India in 2008-09.

The build-up to that four-Test series was dominated by the presence of Chappell in the enemy camp. However, Chappell's Aussies lost the series 0-2 to surrender the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. During his term with India, Chappell had strained relations with Sourav Ganguly and his tenure ended after India's first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup.

Proteas can rule the cricketing world: Gary Kirtsen
JOHANNESBURG: South African coach Gary Kirsten feels the Proteas have the ability to dominate world cricket. "We've set ourselves some lofty standards, and we want to be the best team in the world, so we're very excited about where we're going," Kirsten was quoted as saying by SAPA. "It was nice to go on tour and connect with all the players. We have new management, and some new players, and we were a long way from home, but we connected well as a unit. There were some really positive signs in all the formats, so I thought it was a highly successful tour," said Kirsten.

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