Kohli’s eagerness to learn about his game makes him a ‘great’: Kirsten

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New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) India’s World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten feels skipper Virat Kohli’s eagerness to learn about his game and improving on it makes him one of the “greats” of modern day cricket.

Kirsten, who was in the national capital as part of a nation-wide talent scout for his upcoming academy Gary Kirsten Cricket India, said he loved working with Kohli and believed India’s upcoming tour of England will be an exciting battle.

“Kohli is a great player. He continues to improve and get better. I enjoy working with him because he wants to learn about his game and all great players do that,” the former South African opener told reporters here.

“India-England series will be a competitive series, it will be a good series. It will be great fun watching the battle between two great sides,” he added.

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On being probed about the propulsion of T20 cricket and its effect on the traditional format of the game, Kirsten admitted that the shortest version appeals to the younger generation a lot more.

“I enjoy T20 cricket. It really appeals to the younger generation. It’s very entertaining, my kids enjoy watching T20 cricket more than anything else.

“Test cricket will always gonna be there. It’s the purest form of the game, people who have grown with Test cricket will always love it. But the only concern I have with Test cricket is outside of England and Australia, the crowds are waning,” he said.

Kirsten, who is also involved with the struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), however decided not to delve much into the dismal performance of the franchise.

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The RCB are currently languishing at the penultimate spot of the eight-team IPL points table after managing to win just three of their 10 matches so far.

On being asked about the reasons for the disappointing performance of the Kohli-led side, Kirsten did not have a clear answer and said: “It’s my first year with the team, I have really enjoyed the time with the team.”

“It’s very different coaching a franchise team and an international team, but I am not the head coach of the RCB, I am just an assistant coach. So for me to come and assist the team is something which I really enjoyed,” he added.

Reminiscing about his playing days, Kirsten said Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath was the best bowler he faced, besides enjoying his stint with the star-studded Indian team during his time as head coach from 2007-11. “Glenn McGrath was the best bowler I ever faced and my favourite batsman was Brian Lara,” he said.

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“There were a lot of cricketers against whom I enjoyed playing and later working with like Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), V.V.S. Laxman, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh. All these are the legends of the game,” he concluded.

–IANS

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