We celebrate Gary Kirsten’s 48th birthday on Monday by looking back on his then record-equaling 275 against England in Durban in 1999.
Kirsten made his debut in Australia in 1993-94. His first Test hundred (110 against England in Atherton’s match in Johannesburg) was two years and 17 Tests in coming, but Kirsten soon got a taste for the long innings – his 275 against England in Durban in 1999-2000 equalled the national record, just in time as well as he on the verge of being dropped from the Test team after a lean spell with the bat.
Eight of his 21 Test centuries were scores of more than 150. He was also the first South African to make 5000 Test runs. After retiring, Kirsten spent some time with the Warriors as a consultant batting coach, and in 2006 set up his own academy in Cape Town. In December 2007 he signed a deal to coach India and during his reign the team moved up to No. 1 in the Test rankings for the first time and also won the 2011 World Cup, after which he quit the side and took charge of South Africa.