Gary Kirsten (right) with Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. Photo:

BANGALORE – Former South Africa batsman and World Cup-winning India coach Gary Kirsten will reunite Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the Indian Premier League.

Kirsten has been named coach and mentor for the Kohli-led franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore from the 2019 season.

He will take over from former New Zealand all-rounder Daniel Vettori, who was with the side for eight years, first as a player and then as a coach. Kirsten was already part of the support staff in 2018, serving as batting coach, and was influential in Kohli's early years in international cricket. 

"I had the privilege of coaching with the RCB team last season under head coach Daniel and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I look forward to continuing the journey with RCB and doing my best to help the franchise reach its potential," said Kirsten in a statement.

Despite their batting riches, Bangalore have never won the IPL, only reaching the final twice. In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, they struggled to win matches, finishing in the bottom half of the table.

They will hope for a turnaround under Kirsten, who was in charge of India from 2008 until 2011, when they won the World Cup and became the number one-ranked Test team. He then took over as South Africa coach, seeing their rise to number one in Tests as well.

As a player, Kirsten averaged 45.27 and 40.95 in 101 Tests and 185 ODIs, respectively, for South Africa. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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