Gary Kirsten, former Indian World Cup-winning coach, has revealed that Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar wanted to quit the game following India’s disastrous exit from the 2007 World Cup.
Sachin Tendulkar has time and again asserted that that period was possibly the lowest point of his cricket career, and had considered quitting the game as he wasn’t enjoying it after being asked to bat in the position that he didn’t want to.
Sachin was forced to bat in the middle-order in the 2007 World Cup by then-coach Greg Chappell.
However, once he returned back to his preferred position- opening- Tendulkar scripted a renaissance for the ages, scoring 24 international hundreds across formats post the 2007 World Cup till his retirement.
“If I think of Sachin Tendulkar at that time, where he was when I arrived in India… he wanted to give up the game. According to him, he was batting out of position, he wasn’t enjoying his cricket at all,” Gary Kirsten said on Talksport podcast ‘Following on’.
“Three years later, he scores 18 international hundreds in three years, goes back to batting where he wants to bat, and we win the World Cup.”he added.
“I ended up having a great coaching journey with him”- Gary Kirsten on Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin had some of his best years under Gary Kirsten and according to the former South African opener, the prime reason for that was he created a kind of environment where players were comfortable.
“I ended up having a great coaching journey with him and that, for me, is where the essence of coaching is now, certainly modern coaching. You’re actually facilitating people’s ability to be the best version of themselves” he added.
“All I did was facilitate an environment for him to thrive. I didn’t tell him (Sachin Tendulkar) anything. He knew the game, but what he did need was an environment – not only him, all of them – an environment set up where they could be the best version of themselves,” Gary Kirsten said.
Sachin Tendulkar has written in his book ‘Playing It My Way’ how his brother Ajit and Sir Vivian Richards motivated him to keep continuing.
In the end, it was all worth it as the legendary batsman went on to shrug off the horrors of the 2007 World Cup, winning the tournament on home soil four years later.