'Gary is the best coach India has ever had'
Prolific Indian opener Gautam Gambhir says the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should renew coach Gary Kirsten's contract after it expires at the end of next year's World Cup.
"Gary is the best coach India has ever had. I have often said that and I keep on stressing that we need Gary. I don't need to speak much about him. His fabulous record speaks for itself. He has been a great man-manager. So I believe that he should be retained after the World Cup also," Gambhir said at the sidelines of a promotional event in Delhi on Thursday.
Image: Gautam Gambhir (right) with Gary Kirsten
'It's always difficult when you come back from injury'
Gambhir is the latest among the Indian stars to ask that the South African to be retained after reports that Cricket South Africa is planning to hire him once he finishes his stint with the Indian team.
The opener also supported Kirsten's idea of sending the top-order batsmen to South Africa, a week in advance so that they can get acclimatised to the pace and bounce of wickets over there.
"We haven't played much cricket in South Africa of late. So it will be a great idea if we go there a bit early to get used to the conditions. If such a thing happens, it may just work in our favour," Gambhir said.
He also reiterated that one can't continue his blazing form for life and there is bound to be ups and downs.
"Right now I am coming back from injury. It's always a difficult thing when you come back from injury. Only when you spend considerable time out there in the middle, you get to know how it's shaping up for you," he said.
Image: Gautam Gambhir
India won't take NZ lightly: Gambhir
The Delhi batsman also feels that just because Bangladesh whipped New Zealand 4-0 in the ODI series, it did not mean that it will be a cakewalk for the Indians when they meet the Black Caps from November 4.
"You can never take any international opposition lightly. Just because Bangladesh beat them 4-0 doesn't mean that we can take it easy against the New Zealanders. Their team consists of some proven match-winners who can turn a match head on. So we need to be very careful and can't take things for granted," Gambhir said.
On a lighter vein, he said walking ramp is tough but not as tough as opening the batting for the country.
He also said that he hasn't seen the likes of the Yuvraj Singhs and Mahendra Singh Dhonis walk the ramp before adding a cricketer's endeavour is to perform on field rather than score points off it.
Image: Gautam Gambhir