Dubai: Sachin Tendulkar, the batting maestro, was on the verge of giving up the game in 2007 as he did not enjoy batting out of his position, according to former India coach Gary Kirsten.
Speaking at a talkSPORT podcast, India’s 2011 World Cup-winning coach revealed Tendulkar wasn’t happy with his batting position at number four and was looking to end his career in 2007. India had also crashed out of the group stage of the World Cup in West Indies the same year and Greg Chappell, the then Indian coach, had to eventually step down in the aftermath of the poor result.
“I ended up having a great coaching journey with him. If I think of Sachin at the time, where he was when I arrived in India... he wanted to give up the game,” the South African said.
“According to him he was batting out of position. He wasn’t enjoying his cricket at all.”
Kirsten, who took over the hotseat officially in March 2008, stated he helped Tendulkar reinvigorate his game, not by teaching him something different but create an environment for him to thrive - reinstating him as an opener.
From the time Kirsten took over till the end of 2011 World Cup, Tendulkar played 38 ODIs and hit 1,958 runs including seven centuries (one double ton) as opener. During the same time, he smashed 2,910 runs in 31 Tests including 12 centuries.
“And then he scores 18 international hundreds (19 actually) in three years. Goes back to batting where he wants to bat and we won the World Cup,” Kirsten said.
“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.