A disappointed Sachin Tendulkar was contemplating retirement in 2007, reveals former India head coach Gary Kirsten as the batting legend had stopped enjoying his cricket.
In the year 2007, Indian cricket team endured a disastrous ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, crashing out in the first round itself after defeats to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Kirsten was later on appointed as the head coach even as India went on to clinch the inaugural ICC World T20 in 2007 under a new captain MS Dhoni.
Kirsten officially started his tenure in March 2008.
“I ended up having a great coaching journey with him (Tendulkar). If I think of Sachin at the time, where he was when I arrived in India… he wanted to give up the game,” Kirsten said during talkSPORT podcast The Cricket Collective.
“According to him he was batting out of position. He wasn’t enjoying his cricket at all,” he added.
Kirsten went on to become of the most successful coaches in Indian cricket history leading the team to the 2011 ODI World Cup title win apart from securing the top-ranking in Test cricket as well.
Kirsten said the environment where Tendulkar would thrive was missing and he helped create it.
As a result, from the time Kirsten took over till the end of 2011 World Cup, Tendulkar played scored 1,958 runs including seven centuries in 38 ODIs. he also struck 2,910 runs in 31 Tests including 12 centuries.
“And then he scores 18 international hundreds (19) in three years. Goes back to batting where he wants to bat and we won the World Cup,” Kirsten recalled. “For me, all I did was facilitate the environment for him to thrive. I didn’t have to tell him anything… he knew the game. What he did need was an environment… not only him but everyone… an environment where they can be the best versions of themselves,” Kirsten added.
Tendulkar retired in November 2013 as cricket’s most prolific run-getter in both Tests and ODIs.