• ‘International teams will eat you alive’

    Former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten has been impressed with the start of director of cricket Graeme Smith, head coach Mark Boucher and batting consultant Jacques Kallis’ tenures.

    Smith, Boucher and Kallis joined the Proteas prior to the ongoing Test series against England. South Africa won the first Test in Centurion, but lost the second in Cape Town. The third will start in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

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    ‘The important thing is to have people around the team who have played at the highest level against the best opposition for many years. To have those guys in the changing room is vital for the young players,’ Kirsten told the Daily Mail.

    ‘Any team representing South Africa need to understand what it takes to succeed. Graeme, Mark and Jacques know it. They know what it’s like and you don’t want to run the risk of putting people in those positions who don’t have that understanding.

    ‘International teams will eat you alive. You have to match excellence with excellence and that’s what South Africa have done.’

    Kirsten was in contention to be England’s head coach. The England and Wales Cricket Board, however, appointed former seamer Chris Silverwood to succeed former head coach Trevor Bayliss.

    Kirsten recently worked with the Durban Heat in the Mzansi Super League. He will coach the Welsh Fire in The Hundred – the ECB’s new limited-overs tournament – later this year.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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