Jacques Kallis and Gary Kirsten (left) of South Africa
talk during a practice session [GALLO/GETTY] 
Former South African opener Gary Kirsten has signed a two-year contract to coach India.

"It will be a great honour to coach the game's most passionately supported team, and I can't wait to take on what I know will be one of the biggest challenges of my ongoing career in cricket," Kirsten said.

Kirsten is due to take over officially on March 1 next year but said he would join the Indian team during their tour to Australia from December to February.

"I'll be with the team during the third and fourth tests to facilitate the transition," he continued.

"A plan will also be made for me to meet with the Indian team before they leave for Australia on December 17."

Kirsten's first full series in charge will be against his home country South Africa in India in March and April.

"I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that," he said.

"It will undoubtedly be a special series for me."

The 40-year-old played 101 tests for South Africa.

Source: Agencies