Proteas

Biff batting hunger 'priority'

2011-08-31 10:31
Gary Kirsten (Gallo)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – South Africa’s Test captain Graeme Smith may well have lost some of his enthusiasm for cricket in recent months, new coach Gary Kirsten has concurred.

Kirsten has also outlined some of his “preservation” plans for 35-year-old kingpin player Jacques Kallis.

In an extended, wide-ranging interview with Sport24, it was put to Kirsten that the 30-year-old Smith may have fallen out of love with the game, considering his many years of cricketing travel, the cares of leadership and a multitude of surgeries.

“I think you’re close to spot-on, and if he sat here with you I suspect he’d agree as much,” Kirsten replied.

“He’s been very open about it, and I think that’s fantastic.”

Smith has relinquished limited-overs captaincy of the Proteas to AB de Villiers, although he wishes to continue playing as an ODI batsman, and retains the Test reins he has held since 2003.

Kirsten emphasised that he has “always been a supporter of Graeme Smith and his captaincy”, and that the player had achieved huge milestones both as a player and leader.

“By his own admission he’s also made mistakes. He’s a bit tired, yes, and a big thing is that he wants to get his batting form back.

“I’ve said to him ‘that’s certainly my priority for you’.

“His Test captaincy is a given, and I’ve also said he can be a great mentor for AB in the years to come, which he’s embracing full-on.

“He’s a real presence at the crease, which is what you want, so I’m hugely looking forward to any (rebirth) there. I see an exciting few years still for Graeme.”

Kirsten also lifted the lid on his plans for veteran, ever-indispensable all-rounder Kallis.

“We’ve already had a conversation around that. He’s extremely keen to keep on playing, which I’m thrilled about.

“I’ve said to him ‘we’re going to have to manage you smartly’.

“So look, we may not see Jacques out there in every single game of cricket South Africa plays. He’s certainly served his time, and earned the right to be picked for this but not for that.

“If any people think age may be catching up on him ... well, some said that about Sachin Tendulkar (now 38 – Sport24), and he got 18 international hundreds in the time I was there. He probably performed better than at any equivalent stage of his career.

“You get the guys in a good space, wanting to do it, playing for the badge ... you can get anything you want out of them under those circumstances.”

*More of Gary Kirsten’s thoughts to Rob Houwing will be published on www.Sport24.co.za over the next few days.

Read more on:    graeme smith
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Cool Cobras see off Knights

2014-10-22 23:08

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
34 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
Fixtures
23 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 23:30
26 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Hamilton 23:30
05 November 2014
Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval 10:35
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.