Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Under Gary Kirsten’s stint as head coach, India achieved several milestones. Under his guidance, the Men in Blue reached the No. 1 position in the ICC ODI and Test rankings. India also ended the long wait for an ODI World Cup title in 2011. Hence, the former South African cricketer is a very popular and respected name in Indian cricket.

Kirsten joined India during the transitional phase. His partnership with the then skipper MS Dhoni made wonders for Indian cricket during his three and half years stint.

In a recent interview, the former South African cricketer opened up about Dhoni as a captain. He also revealed why MSD was a standout for him among all the superstars in Indian cricket.

“Amid the superstar culture in India, cricketers tend to forget that their job is to perform for the team and not to go for individual milestones. This was the area where Dhoni stood out from players from other super stars,” said Kirsten while speaking to Adam Collins in ‘The Final Word cricket podcast’ show on YouTube.

“India is a pretty tough place with a lot of hype around individual superstars. Amid this kind of hype, you often get lost in what your own personal needs are. Meanwhile, Dhoni was standout as a leader as he was so focused on the team doing well. He just wanted to win trophies and have great success. He was also very public about that. It helped pull a lot of other guys into line and as a result, Sachin Tendulkar started enjoying cricket as well,” Kirsten said.

“Dhoni and I formed the most unlikely partnership of a skipper and coach one will ever imagine in international cricket. As a result, we ended up having this incredible journey together,” he added.