India’s World Cup winning skipper MS Dhoni and then head coach Gary Kirsten’s partnership induced many great results for the men in blue. From becoming the top Test team to winning the ICC World Cup 2011, Gary Kristen and MS Dhoni’s understanding helped the side.
Talking about MS Dhoni, Kristen pointed out that Captain Cool’s loyalty made him one of the most impressive character the South African had ever come across.
“One of the most impressive people I have met, he is a great leader of people, he’s got incredible presence as a leader, but the most important thing is that he is loyal,” Kirsten said about Dhoni on The RK Show.
Speaking more about MSD, Kristen looked back on an incident when Dhoni dicided not to attend an event after the coaching staff, which included Gary Kristen, were not permitted to enter.
“I’ll never forget, just before the World Cup, we were invited in Bangalore to go to the flight school, to go and kind of have a look at that. Obviously, we had a couple of foreigners in our support staff, and we got word back on the morning before the whole team was meant to go – and everyone was looking forward to the event – that the three South Africans, which were myself, Paddy Upton and Eric Simmons, weren’t going to be allowed into the flight school because it was seen as a potential security risk.
“So MS cancelled the whole event. He just said, ‘These are my people. If they’re not allowed in, none of us are going’. And that was what he was about,” Former India head-coach Kirsten said.
Furthermore, Kristen went on to say that he and MS Dhoni spent a fair amount of time together discussing matters irrespective of whether the team won or lost and they created a good working relation with each other.
“He was very loyal, to me, and I think he saw as well, there were times when we didn’t always win games and we’d have some tough times. We’d spend a lot of time, just one on one together, talking through, taking the team forward. I think we built a strong relationship in the three years we had together,” Kirsten added.