Stint as Indian Cricket Coach (2008-2011)
After retiring from international cricket Gary started a cricket academy in his home town Cape Town. In the later part of 2007 it appeared that Kirsten was a major candidate for the post of Indian coach. The Board of Control for Cricket in India offered him a contract of two years. He accepted the offer on 4th December 2007.
He however, formally took over as the coach on 1st March 2008. Though he travelled with India to Australia, but his full fledged coaching assignment with Indian Team started with the home series against South Africa that ended in a draw. Also, he coached India to the finals of the Kitply Cup and 2008 Asia Cup (India ended up losing both the finals).
During his term as Indian coach, Indian cricket reached new heights and the team won a home series against Australia defeating them by a 2-0 margin. Apart from clinching the Border-Gavaskar trophy, he also coached India to its first bilateral series win in Sri Lanka against Sri Lanka and India's first ODI series victory against New Zealand in New Zealand after 40 years.
India also defeated Sri Lanka to win the Compaq Cup during his tenure as coach. As he was a highly gifted and skilled batsman himself, he had brought in a significant and substantial amount of improvement in the batting performances, which was largely related to his ability to instill better confidence and assurance among younger players.
Gary Kirsten has been praised by all and sundry, by experts, former players and fans. He has been instrumental towards improving/enhancing the techniques of players, motivating and inspiring them and also discussing tactics that can be deployed on the field. The results have come and India reached number one in Test ranking under him and also went on to win the ICC World Cup 2011. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, once talking about Gary, described him as "The best thing to happen to Indian cricket."
World Cup 2011
After the South African tour, where India levelled the Test series 1-1 and lost the ODI series 3-2, Gary declared that he wouldn't like to continue as Indian Coach after the 2011 World Cup.
Gary ended his term as India coach after India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup beating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets and 10 balls to spare on 2 April 2011 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India. During the celebration, he was carried around the ground by Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohlito show their respect towards a person who has taught them how to win under tough situation.