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Kirsten in line for India coaching job

MUMBAI – Former South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten looks set to succeed Greg Chappell as India coach.

“It is more or less finalised. There are no other names at the moment,” Indian board secretary Niranjan Shah told Reuters on Tuesday.

Kirsten, 40, was interviewed by members of the board’s special coach committee on Monday and a decision is expected later this week when senior board officials meet.

“I didn’t approach them, so I suppose from that point of view one can be encouraged that they felt that there’s something I could offer this team.

“And that gives me a tremendous sense of confidence to know that I’ve been backed to that amount or level.”

India have been without a coach since Australian Chappell resigned after their first-round exit at the World Cup in March and the team have had interim managers since the tour of Bangladesh in May.

Kirsten met a committee comprising board president Sharad Pawar, former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, treasurer N. Srinivasan and Shah.

Test captain Anil Kumble, who has played against Kirsten, was also present at the meeting.

South African Graham Ford turned down the coach’s job in June.

Kirsten, a left-handed opening batsman, played 101 tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa in an 11-year career that ended in 2004.

His coaching experience, however, is limited to having been Cricket South Africa’s high performance manager before setting up his own academy in Cape Town. He conducted a coaching clinic with the Zimbabwe national team in June.

“But he is an experienced cricketer,” Shah said when asked about Kirsten’s limited coaching experience. “He was a great player.”

India hold a 1-0 lead over Pakistan in their current test series and travel to Australia next month for a four-test rubber.

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