It's normal to hear India players showering lavish praise on their coach Gary Kirsten for his contribution to individuals and the team. They seem one happy family, destined for a long relationship. Test encounters
Yet, come April and the coach might not opt to renew his contract with the BCCI after the World Cup and return home to take up the similar job with his home team. And the reason for opting out would be his desire to be back with his family after the three-year long stint in India.
It was none other than India skipper MS Dhoni who hinted at the possible departure of Kirsten after the World Cup in the sub continent. The skipper said the Indian team would love to have him for another three years, but Kirsten's family will have an impact on that decision.
"He has been a part of the Indian team for the last three years. He has two young sons and he would surely want to spend time with them. So it will be very crucial, apart from the money aspect, when he takes the decision," said Dhoni.
Dhoni, however, clarified they haven't had any talks on the issue as the coach and the team were focused on the job at hand. "There's this important series and then we have World Cup. So, we are just focusing to get the best out of him for as long as we have him with us."
Whether Kirsten stays or goes, there's no doubt he has transformed the Indian side. Coming in as he did after the turbulent Greg Chappell era, he has built this team from the scratch to No 1 in the Test ranking. India have also been installed as World Cup favourites. "Gary has been one of the great things to happen to Indian cricket. We have had a great time under him. It's an advantage for us to have him," said the skipper.
Almost every player in the team has openly acknowledged Kirsten's influence in their game.
Sachin Tendulkar has spoken in glowing terms about the former South African opener, attributing his guidance for his superb 2010 season with the bat.
"I've been playing well after the 2007 World Cup and much of the credit goes to Gary. He has held the team beautifully, and it's all about holding the team together. Even at the nets, he works as hard as the players, probably harder than anyone else. If you look, he has been bowling at me a lot at the practice and I would like to thank him for everything," said Tendulkar.