Indian team plays like a bunch of old men: Kepler Wessels

April 9th, 2008 - 10:51 pm ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, April 9 (IANS) Predicting some problems for his former team mate Gary Kirsten, who is now India’s coach, former South African captain Kepler Wessels has said that the Indian side needed some serious changes. “I think (Kirsten) is in a difficult position, because he is saddled with an old team that plays like a bunch of old men,” Wessels, who is the coach to Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings, told Afrikaans daily Beeld here.

“There will definitely have to be changes made to get them on the wining path again, but it will probably not be a popular decision all round.”

“Kirsten’s problem is that he cannot simply effect changes. There are so many big names, who do just what they want to. They also have habits, which cannot be changed overnight.

“Because he is so new in the position, (Kirsten) also does not know what he can insist on. He feels he cannot change things left and right, (creating) a difficult transition,” Wessels added.

Commenting on India’s chances of at least drawing the ongoing Test series in Kanpur starting Friday, Wessels said they would have to get a pitch prepared where the ball would turn sharply on the first day.

He also said that South African squad could beat England and Australia in forthcoming series.

Until recently the most outspoken critic of captain Graeme Smith and his leadership, Wessels is now full of praise for him.

“The current team is the best I have seen in the Graeme Smith era and if they can play like (they have against India) they can beat England and they can certainly beat Australia”, said Wessels, who also played in 24 Tests and 54 one-day internationals for Australia between 1982 and 1983.

Wessels regarded India’s defeat by an innings and 90 runs in Ahmedabad last week as the best South African victory since Smith took over the captaincy, but was quick to add that it was not South Africa’s best triumph ever in world cricket.

“I have never seen South Africa play so well under Smith’s leadership. If (the South African squad) delivers the same level of paying that they did at Ahmedabad, I can see no reason why they could not beat the Aussies in their own back yard (when they tour there) at the end of the year,” Wessels said.

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