Two days ago is forgotten, the team is motivated for India game - Kirsten - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Two days ago is forgotten, the team is motivated for India game - Kirsten

 "I kind of felt that there's going to be a good vibe there tomorrow. So that's going to be exciting for us" - Gary Kirsten

"I kind of felt that there's going to be a good vibe there tomorrow. So that's going to be exciting for us" - Gary Kirsten © Getty

Gary Kirsten has been closely associated with Indian cricket for most of the past 16 years. He was directly involved with the Indian team from 2008 to 2011, and after a brief hiatus during which he coached his national team South Africa, Kirsten returned to India to coach various IPL teams. Until last month, he was coaching Gujarat Titans. Now, at the Twenty20 World Cup, he finds himself on the other side of the fence, both literally and figuratively.

"Well, I've been with the team for 13 days, so it's early days for me," said the former India World Cup-winning coach, who is currently the head coach of Pakistan, on the eve of a match between traditional rivals. Despite the short time, he is already well integrated into the Pakistan team. "It's been a real privilege to work with a Pakistan team. I've thoroughly enjoyed the players, they're lovely guys, they're giving their best for their country, and in the end, everyone's got a different way of playing the game. My job really is to understand that way and how it integrates into what we're trying to do as a team," he said on Thursday.

A thorough professional, Kirsten knows how to adapt to the demands of his job. However, there have been understandable questions about whether he would share insights about the Indian team with the Pakistan dressing room. "The way that I'd answer that is I think these players have seen enough of each other and how they play. In the end we want to make sure that we get our game right. Look at the conditions and what is required on the conditions because I think that's going to be a big play for tomorrow," he said, stating that knowledge about international teams is very much in the public domain.

As India coach he was involved in two games against Pakistan. One of them was the 2011 semifinal in Mohali, which India won. The second was in the Champions Trophy in South Africa in 2009. How different are the vibes - then and now? "I think it is a little bit different because it's not in India or Pakistan. I went for a ride early this morning, which I like doing most mornings, and I certainly rode around the stadium a little bit and I kind of felt that there's going to be a good vibe there tomorrow. So that's going to be exciting for us all to have that many people that have come out to support the two teams," Kirsten said.

Kirsten's start with the Pakistan team has been rather bumpy, with the team losing their opening match to the lower-ranked US. He faced a barrage of questions regarding how he plans to motivate the players and lift them from the defeat, which has faced severe criticism back in Pakistan. His response was that international sides do not require motivation.

"It's never nice not winning games of cricket for any player. They're trying their best. It's never nice. I don't think I needed to motivate this team for this game. I think the important thing for us is that we operate genuinely as a team. Yes, we need individuals to make good performances, but playing games like this, I think is a real team effort. It's a big game, so we're going to treat it as any other game. But certainly, give it our best shot. The team's motivated. I mean, if that's what you're questioning, two days ago is forgotten. We can't take it back. It's gone. So, move on," he said.

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