Melbourne: South Africa have turned to an old friend in their quest to win the World Cup. Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa opening batsmen and World Cup winning coach with India, has joined hands with his former team as a consultant for the tournament.
Kirsten was in India for the IPL auction on Monday. He is the head coach of the Delhi Daredevils franchise, caught a flight for Melbourne soon after.
— Gary Kirsten (@Gary_Kirsten) February 16, 2015
The news is of particular interest to India as their next game is against South Africa on 22 February, although this India team is very different from the one Kirsten coached from 2008 to 2011. India have never beaten South Africa in the World Cup, losing all three games the teams have played.
Prior to the tournament, Kirsten said India had to be one of the favourites because the team has learned how to win World Cups. South Africa, famously, have not only never won the World Cup, they have failed to win a knock-out game at any ICC tournament. The closest they have come is the tied semi-final in 1999 against Australia, when Alan Donald was run out in the final over with the scores level and two balls remaining. That result earned them the “chockers” tag which they have failed to erase.
South Africa already has another World Cup winner in Michael Hussey working with them. They will hope the combination of Hussey and Kirsten will be enough to get them good result this time.