Kirsten reveals his key to success in India

November 23rd, 2008 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 22 (IANS) Unlike his more flamboyant predecessor Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten has preferred to stay backstage and fine-tune the Indian team which is certainly showing signs of developing into a formidable outfit. Kirsten and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni have forged a combination that reminds one of the successful pair of John Wright-Sourav Ganguly.

When the former South African batsman took over the coaching reins of Indian cricket, the Chapell episode had left a sour taste in mouth and appointment of another foreign coach was seen with scepticism. But almost a year into the high-profile job, Kirsten has proved detractors wrong.

Kirsten says the key to his successful stint so far has been because he moulded himself to Indian culture.

“When people talk about me being a foreign coach. I don’t feel like a foreign coach because I’ve integrated my thinking, my philosophies and my style of coaching, along with Paddy Upton’s, into how the Indians go about their business. We are a very happy unit,” Kirsten was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph.

“They’re physically different. They must play the game their own way. They play with enormous flair, and they’ve got great hands on the ball. We’ve got to encourage that.

“They’re so very humble, yet they’ve got this superstardom status. You could easily see how it could go to their heads. But it doesn’t. They’re good listeners and they respect your space. I can’t really speak highly enough of them, and I’d have said that whether we were doing well or not.

Upton’s influence upon the team’s fitness has also been obvious. India’s fielding and running between the wickets has surprisingly bettered England’s so far in this series.

“We’re trying to bring in new thinking. But we’re not going to force them to do it.”

Kirsten’s rapport with new skipper Dhoni is obvious.

“He’s got exceptional leadership qualities. He’s a very streetwise cricketer and likes to think out of the box. That’s lovely because I like to think out of the box too. He’s just got that winner’s mind-set. He truly believes this team will win more games than they’ll lose.”

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