Gary Kristen is a former South African cricketer who has never been known for any sort of flamboyance or aggression. Gary was never blessed with the almost pure technique of his half-brother Peter, but his discipline and penchant for hard work stood during his day as a batsman.
A gritty batsman, Kristen had issues with incoming deliveries, something for which he worked for hours at the nets to eradicate. During his career that lasted 101 tests, Kristen’s moment under the sun came in the Boxing Day Test against England in 1999. He also holds the record for the highest individual score by a South African player, 188 against UAE in the 1996 WC.
After this, he returned to haunt England in 2003 and scored 130 runs in the Headingly Test, which South Africa won by 191 runs. His good performance in the series convinced him to postpone his retirement until the end of the New Zealand tour in 2003-04.
After retiring, Kristen spent some time as a consultant with the Warriors and set up his own cricket academy in Cape Town in 2006. In 2007, he signed up as a coach for India, and his low-profile approach to the job was appreciated by many players.
Kristen was fairly young when he was appointed as the Indian coach. This is clear from the fact that he had played cricket against Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and many others. In a recent interview, Kristen revealed that Tendulkar was planning to retire from cricket when he became the coach in 2008.
During talkSPORT’s podcast The Cricket Collective, Kristen said, “If I think of Sachin at that time, where he was when I arrived in India… he wanted to give up the game. According to Sachin, he was batting out of position, he wasn’t enjoying his game at all. Then he scores 18 international hundreds in three years, and goes back to batting where he wanted to bat and we won the World Cup.”
Tendulkar was experiencing some injury issues between 2005 and 2007. In 2007, he was fit again but couldn’t give his best. In addition, he was unable to score a century after the World Cup and got out in the 90s several times. So, he was given the role of batting at number 4 in 2007 ODIs.
Needless to say, Tendulkar enjoyed batting at the top of the order. In fact, India played their best cricket when he opened the innings. Also, cricket betting flourished when Tendulkar was on the field. While Tendulkar retired from cricket in 2011, cricket fans still love to place bets on their favourite players like Virat Kolhi, MS Dhoni, and many more. For cricket lovers who are new to the world of online betting, they can refer to cricketbettingtips.io to get the best tips and other information about the game.
Between 2008 and 2011, Tendulkar was at his best and played some superb knock that left cricket fans astonished.
All I did was facilitate an environment for Tendulkar and other players to thrive: Kristen
Reflecting upon his journey as the Indian coach, Kristen said that he had a great time with Tendulkar. The former Indian coach also talked about the importance of building an atmosphere which makes it easy for players to give their best.
“I ended up having a great coaching journey with Sachin and that, for me, is where the essence of coaching is now. You’re actually helping players to be the best versions of themselves. All I did was facilitate an environment for Tendulkar and other players to thrive. He knew the game in the best way, but what he did need was an environment. An environment set up where they could be the best versions of themselves,” Kristen added.
The former South African batsman coached the Indian cricket team for a 2-year period between 2008 and 2009, which was later extended by a year. Under Kristen, India won the ICC cricket world Cup in 2011 and was also ranked as the No.1 Test team for a significant period of time.