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Kirsten's successor will have a tough act to follow: Pybus

April 13, 2011 - Islamabad

India's retiring coach Gary Kirsten's empathy, kindness and inspiration have left an indelible mark on the Indian Cricket Team, and his successor will have a tough act to follow, former Pakistan coach and fellow South African Richard Pybus has said.

"The interviews with the Indian players after the World Cup victory pay testament to a coach, whose empathy, kindness and inspiration has left an indelible mark on this team," quoted Pybus, as saying about Kirsten.

It rarely happens that current and former players, critics and fans agree on any matter, but Kirsten's appointment as Indian cricket coach and the timing of his resignation is one such event that has precipitated such a unified emotion.

Former Protean batsman Kirsten took the Indian team to the top and is leaving on a high, with the 2011 World Cup winners wanting him to continue as coach.

"It's going to be a tough act to follow for the next Indian coach," noted Pybus.

Talking about his personal experiences with Kirsten, Pybus said: "One of the first things that strikes you about Gary Kirsten, India's retiring coach, is his genuineness. There's no bling or strut to Kirsten, he's humble and has quietness about him, something that is offset by a ready smile and easy sense of humour."

He also provided an insight into Kirsten's early coaching career, noting the coach's ability to create rapport and trust with players, observe problems before reaching a solution.

"I first worked with Gary when he was running the High Performance Programme for Cricket South Africa. I did a course on mental batting skills for some of the emerging batsmen on the South African domestic scene and he immediately came across as a man who put players at ease, transcending his status as one of South Africa's great players," said Pybus.

"This ability to create rapport and trust with players will have been a key factor in establishing relationships with India's players, a coach who observes and listens first, rather than seeking to come in with solutions to problems that may not exist," he added.


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