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Kirsten thinks twice about retirement

Gary Kirsten said he was having second thoughts about retiring from Test cricket following his match-winning performance against England at Headingley.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2003 13:47 IST

Gary Kirsten said he was having second thoughts about retiring from Test cricket following his match-winning performance against England here at Headingley.

Left-handed batsman Kirsten's painstaking innings of 130 and 60 set up South Africa's 191 run fourth Test win against England which gave the Proteas an unbeatable 2-1 series lead ahead of next month's fifth Test at The Oval.

Kirsten, 35, South Africa's most-capped player who was named man-of-the-match in his 92nd Test, told reporters: "I did say this would be my last summer of international cricket. But the guys have put some heat on me."

However, the Western Province run machine - who retired from one-day international cricket after hosts South Africa's first round World Cup exit, earlier this year, insisted he would not be making a definitive decision soon.

"I will go back to South Africa and chat to my six-month pregnant wife."

Kirsten, on a pitch of varying bounce which made strokeplay difficult throughout the match, batted for over 11 hours, a testament to his powers of concentration.

"The pitch behaved very interestingly. I don't think I've played on a Test match pitch like it," added Kirsten who often had a rueful grin across his face after the ball either kept low or lept off a length.

"You do smile when you play forward and one goes past your nose," explained Kirsten, who has now scored 6,476 Test runs with 18 hundreds at an average of 43.75.

Kirsten missed South Africa's 70-run third Test defeat at Trent Bridge with an elbow injury and admitted that had made him even keener than normal to perform well at Trent Bridge.

"Sometimes it's not too bad to miss a game although no-one likes sitting around for five days. But I certainly came here motivated."

First Published: Aug 26, 2003 13:46 IST