Gary Kirsten © Getty Images
Gary Kirsten © Getty Images

Former South Africa captain and Team India coach Gary Kirsten feels under-fire Australia  team can never be written off a mega event despite recently-concluded ball-tampering scandal. Referring to the 2019 World Cup, Kirsten said he has full faith on Australia turning the tide in the Justin Langer era. Langer was appointed Australia Head Coach after Darren Lehmann’s resignation following the Cape Town ball-tampering incident primarily involving Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Australia were World Cup champions in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 (previous edition)

“You can never count Australia out of any big tournament. They are the most consistent team across big tournaments and I am sure they will be ready to compete at the next World Cup. All the teams have got closer and it really is open for any team to win the big tournaments,” claimed Kirsten.

He is also impressed with England’s resurgence post a shambolic 2015 World Cup campaign and has marked them as yet another potential champion too. He also mentioned South Africa: ”England are playing an aggressive and exciting brand of cricket and it has certainly put them in a great position to contend in all tournaments. South Africa has built a team where you have a number of match-winners. AB [de Villiers] is one of them and he will be doing all he can to make sure he contributes as he always does.”

Kirsten, currently serving as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batting coach, also spoke of the venue of his first international cricket academy: “This is our first international academy and we are really excited to begin with Pune.We will be building a state-of-the-art facility in Pune with an indoor training centre as well as outdoor facilities catering for all year. There will be practical work done as well as theory work where our team will look to cover aspects such as leadership, tactics, strategy and captaincy to name a few.”