As a batsman, Gary Kirsten often made up for his lack of fair with his level-headedness and he would require the same single-minded determination to succeed as the coach of the Indian cricket team, arguably the toughest assignment in sporting world.
The 40-year-old Cape Town-born South African left-hander made his debut in the longer version of the game against Australia in 1993 and went on to play 101 Tests, scoring 7289 runs both of which were national records till Jacques Kallis eclipsed them.
Kirsten also played 185 ODIs and scored 6798 runs, his 188 not out against UAE in the 1996 World Cup is still the highest one day score by a South African.
His half-brother Peter Kirsten also played for South Africa. Kirsten played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in 2003 and his final Test appearance was against New Zealand in 2004. Post-retirement, he became a batting consultant for the Warriors and in 2006 he set up his own academy in Cape Town.