Kirsten''s departure will be big loss for India: Akram

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Gary Kirsten''s low-profilecoaching approach has been instrumental in Indian cricketteam''s success in recent years and it will be a big loss forthe team when he quits after the World Cup, former Pakistancaptain Wasim Akram said today.

Akram rated Kirsten as one of the best coaches in theworld and said his three-year association with India has donewonders for the team.

"Gary has done wonders for Team India. He is one of thebest coaches that I have seen in international cricket. He hasa quiet personality and does his job without much fuss. Heplays a good part behind the scenes. He has always been a muchorganised cricketer and we saw that aspect in his coaching aswell," Akram said.

"His qualities as a player and as a person rubbed on TeamIndia as they performed well. M S Dhoni and his men willsurely miss him in the dressing room. The management will alsohave a tough time in trying to find his replacement. But Ifeel India should concentrate on the World Cup rather thanKirsten. As they say, all good things must come to an end,"Akram told Mobile ESPN.

Kirsten took over India coach in March 2008 and duringhis tenure, the team recorded Test and ODI series whitewash ofAustralia (2-0 and 1-0) and New Zealand (1-0 and 5-0) lastyear, both at home.

India also drew the home and away three-match Test seriesagainst South Africa 1-1, beat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home in 2009and drew the subsequent Test series 1-1 last year. MORE PTIPDS CM

Under Kirsten, India recorded their first ODI series victory in New Zealand after 40 years with a 1-0 win in 2009.

In the same year, India beat Sri Lanka 3-1 in the homeODI series but lost to Australia 2-4. They also defeated SouthAfrica 2-1 last year.

In the recently-concluded ODI series against South Africain South Africa, India lost 2-3, but Akram said that despiteIndia losing the series to Proteas, they can win the WorldCup.

"I think India will do well once the seniors are back.

And it''s always a different feeling to play in your homeground with fans shouting for you. It definitely gives you ahigh," said Akram.

The former fast bowler, however, warned India not todepend too much on the exploits of Yusuf Pathan, who hit abrutal 70-ball 105 to pull his team out of a difficultsituation against South Africa in the fifth and last one-dayeron Sunday, which the Indians ultimately lost by 33 runs.

"Yusuf certainly has stood out with his fantastic showingin the last game. He was the only consistent performer. He isa clean hitter and has the temperament of a big-match player.

But I hope that India do not start relying too much on Yusufas it can be suicidal," said Akram.

"The team surely missed the services of Virender Sehwag,Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar but Yusuf tried hard topropel India despite their absence. The key was to stay on thewicket in South Africa and Yusuf did just that," he said. PTIPDS CM

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