Home Sport Cricket ‘Fantastic to win an IPL title’, says Gary Kirsten

‘Fantastic to win an IPL title’, says Gary Kirsten

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Gary Kirsten is a champion in India again! The former Proteas batter famously led India to an ICC World Cup 50-overs triumph in 2011, has now played a major role in leading the Gujarat Titans to the IPL title.

Gujarat Titans players, including Proteas batter David Miller celebrate their IPL title win. Photo: @IPL via Twitter

Cape Town – Gary Kirsten is a champion in India again!

The former Proteas batter famously led India to an ICC World Cup 50-overs triumph as head coach back in 2011, and after many years coaching in the Indian Premier League, Kirsten has now played a major role in leading the Gujarat Titans to the IPL title on Sunday evening.

The Titans, along with the Lucknow Super Giants, are a new franchise that formed part of a revamped 2022 IPL season.

Kirsten joined the Titans at the start of the season as the batting consultant, forming an integral part of head coach Ashish Nehra’s backroom staff.

The 54-year-old has been particularly influential in the rebirth of Proteas left-hander David Miller in this season’s IPL. After spending the past five years in the IPL wilderness at the Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals, Miller has found a home at the Titans where his talents are fully appreciated.

The southpaw responded with a career-best IPL season, striking 449 runs at an average of 64.14 in IPL 2022. He was instrumental in taking the Titans over the line against the Rajasthan Royals in Sunday evening’s final with an undefeated 32 not out off 19 balls.

Kirsten had special praise for Titans captain Hardik Pandya, who also struck 453 runs in the tournament, but more importantly led the new franchise superbly.

“He has been fantastic, I’ve loved working with him. He’s a high profile player in India but he’s incredibly humble, wanting to learn as a leader and engage with his players which I think is really, really important. He’s tried to help the youngsters, he’s come in and played a different responsibility,” he said.

Kirsten also provided insight into how a group that had only come together this season could function this well so quickly.

“It’s fantastic, really happy for the guys, they’ve put a lot into the tournament, great for Ashish (Nehra) and Vikram (Solanki) as well. You’re looking for good balance, good depth in the auction but most importantly you’re looking for players who can play different roles.

“The one thing we’ve learnt with Ashish is finding guys who were versatile, and at 4,5 and 6- we’ve got that. We all got energy out of it, we’ve had a great bowling attack- through the end we went a bowler strong and a batter light, but we were always confident, just to get good balance in the team. Sai Kishore came into the team as a left-arm spinner and did really well as well.

“I’ve loved working with Ashish, he’s really strong tactically- trying to put a gameplan together on the fly is not easy. There are so many variables in each game, but what I’ve enjoyed has been the responsibility players have taken to win games for us.”

@ZaahierAdams

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