Gary Kirsten November 8, 2010

'It's exciting to see the younger cricketers wanting to play Tests'

India's coach looks back at his two and a half years with the team: from building one-on-one relationships to putting himself in a player's shoes before offering advice
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How does it feel to be the coach of the World's No. 1 Test side?
It has been a great experience to be part of this team. We set our sights way back, maybe two-and-a-half years ago, where we felt that we had the team that could consistently be the best in Test cricket. It is through the hard work and the efforts put in by the players that we have been able to maintain that position. There is a strong belief in this team about our ability to win games of cricket.

Is that a big change, this belief the players have got now?
Great Test teams develop over a long time and there are players in this team who have been great performers for India for many years. What I have been excited by is how they have embraced the concept of playing for a bigger cause other than their own personal glory. This has been reflected in the effort they have put into upgrading their skills outside of their core activity in the team. Ishant Sharma's knock in Mohali against Australia is a case in point. The individuals in this team want to make a contribution that can bring Team India further success.

What has been the biggest satisfaction for you as a coach?
It is lovely to be part of an environment where the rewards are coming because of the hard work the players are putting in. We made a decision as a team that this was one area we will not compromise. We spend a lot of time making sure we are well prepared for games. The senior players have led the way in this regard and have been a tremendous example to young players in their work ethic. Our preparation for games has improved substantially and the players are really enjoying their practicing time rather than going through the motions.

I have also been excited especially about how badly the younger players want to play Test cricket. There is a real desire to become a successful Test cricketer for India and that can only be a good thing for Indian cricket in the future.

It has been about 30 months you have been in charge. When you started,did you reckon you would move from No. 4 in the Test rankings to the top spot?
From the outset I always believed that the team had the ability to be the best team in the world. The key was to how to get there. The mission really began in September of 2008 when Australia toured India in a four-match Test series. We had an 18-day preparation slot due to the postponement of the Champions Trophy and it gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time together and decide what we wanted to achieve going forward and how we were going to get there. After winning that series it gave us some real momentum and we set our sights on becoming No. 1.

When exactly did India make the big leap?
The important thing for me is our consistency. In the last two years of Test cricket, we have lost just two games. The players in this team have shown the desire and ability to churn out big performances day in, day out. Every player wants to do something if it is his day. Everyone wants to feel part of the success. The way the seam bowlers have taken on the responsibility to be an integral part of the bowling unit has also been fantastic.

What have you learnt from your experience with the Indians?
As much as I have tried to influence the players to do things that I feel are best for them, I've learnt as much from them. I have learnt how differently the Indians play cricket to the South Africans, Australians and the English. They have got very different ideas and very different thinking. I have enjoyed bringing the Indian style and a South African influence and connecting the two. On the one side you have got the real flair and expressiveness and the in-the-moment type of playing of the game and on the other you have a South African influence, which is more structured and a little bit more planned. Combining the two of them has helped produce a strong team.

"Whenever I need to say something to the players I put myself in the room as if I was talking to myself and think of what I would want to hear from the coach. If you are going to say something, don't say it if it is not going to add value"

Would you say understanding the local culture has allowed you to communicate with the team better?
When Paddy [Upton] and I started this job it was important for us to build trust. The players needed to trust us and to know what our intentions were - that we genuinely wanted to help them in whatever way possible to become improved cricketers. The players also needed to know that I would not be standing on the parapets telling everyone that the reason for our success was because of me. The game is about the players. They have done the work, they have put in the hard work and they deserve the accolades that come with that. Once we built that trust and a harmonious and positive working environment was created, we were then able to build the platform and foundations for achieving long-term success. Naturally, there have been many challenges and obstacles along the way, but I truly believe that each setback has been a real growth and learning opportunity for everyone.

How much time did it take for both sides to build that trust?
It took a long time to connect with every player in a way that the player felt could add value to his career. Every player is so very different, and to understand them in a way where you can be a real help to them takes time. It took me about nine months to a year. Once that is set up, then one's influence can be significant and one can achieve a lot in a short space of time.

Did you surprise yourself that you could do that, considering that as a player you were probably seen to be your own man?
I have always been very understanding of the different and unique ways of playing the game. Someone like Virender Sehwag plays the game completely different to the way I played. I felt I really needed to learn about how he wanted to play the game and what his mental processes were. It was important for me to have a positive influence over him and to encourage him to maintain his natural ability to take bowlers on at the top of the innings. At the same time I wanted to encourage him to play in a way that could give him as much consistency as possible, because in this way even when he is scoring 30 or 40 runs we are off to a good start.

Incidentally Sehwag has a question for you. He wants to know how you keep your cool regardless of the situation during a match.
Is Viru asking me that?

It might look calm on the outside but looks can be deceiving. I'm of the opinion that the players need to see in their captain and their coach a calmness, regardless of the performances in the game. They need to feel that we are backing them through every situation and that when things are not going well we still back them. The players know that both MS [Dhoni] and myself expect full effort and commitment during practice and play. If a player makes an error on the field or we lose the game, that's fine as long as we have given everything to try and enforce a positive result.

Every coach has his mantra. What's your abiding, unshakeable one?
In my short coaching career I have tried to use my reference points as a player as much as possible. Whenever I need to say something to the players I put myself in the room as if I was talking to myself and think of what I would want to hear from the coach. I feel this has helped me tremendously. I've always maintained that if one is going to say something, don't say it if it is not going to add value. So I have tried to stand by that. I believe that one needs to give the players more credit for their own thinking and the way that they can do it rather than me shoving information down their throats.

It is important that they know I'm there and that I will work as hard as possible on helping them prepare for games. I believe that sometimes coaches talk too much just to "tick the box" rather than backing a players own thinking and letting him be. After all it is the player who needs to be clear in his head in the pressure situation during game time - he can't call to the coach to think for him.

Perhaps that explains why you believe in optional nets, even on the eve of a Test match?
I like the concept of optional practice because it gives each player the opportunity to decide what would be the best thing for him to do to get ready for a big game. We don't do it all the time but rather when we feel some players would benefit more from rest than another practice.

I think in cricket we are locked in perceptions. If we don't have a warm-up game on a tour then that means you are not prepared for the Test match. If a player doesn't bowl the day before the Test he is not ready. Those are age-old perceptions, but in the world of modern professional sport we have gone much further down the road to understanding how we are going to get the best out of someone when he crosses the ropes. A warm-up game might be appropriate in some countries and not appropriate in other countries. Equally a warm-up game might suit some players and not others. Personally, I never enjoyed a warm-up game as I was worried that if I got a hundred in the game, I had used up a big score for the tour. I preferred to save it for a Test match. I believe it is a balancing act and as coaches we need to understand what is most appropriate for the team to make sure they are ready to perform.

My coaching style is not too blanket style. Sometimes we stagger the net sessions, where we have six or seven guys coming earlier and other guys coming in later. So we make sure there is enough mental rest while making sure you are repeating your skills enough in training and doing it at the right time.

There are two good examples I can give: as I pointed out earlier, in October 2008, for the home series against Australia, we had 18 days of preparation. In the recent series against them, we had a five-day preparation. I would say both were equally effective.

That could also be because you have put in place a structure the players find easy to slip into?
It is more the environment rather than the structure. It is how you set up the environment so that the players are comfortable but responsible. They also know that if they are taking shortcuts in their preparation, I will be close by to give them a nudge to get going and get the work done. As I have mentioned already, we have improved significantly in the way we prepare, and the players have been accountable to each other for their efforts

How do you define your role: as a man-manger, a facilitator or a head coach?
The word "coach" is probably the wrong word. I believe cricket coaching in its purest form is taking a 12-year-old and working on his technique and his gameplans. The head coach of an international cricket team is more like a soccer manager, where one is overseeing many different areas. The head coach needs to make sure that the ship runs smoothly and that the values and standards set out by the team are been adhered to on a daily basis. If we as a team are living our values daily, then the captain can take his troops onto the field and be comfortable knowing he has 11 players fully committed and prepared for battle.

The players have high praise for you and say that you are the most hardworking of the lot. Is it an extension of your personality as a player, or did you consciously work out that if you have to make a change you need to put in the effort?
For me it is important that we practise purposefully and deliberately. Every session that we do I am trying to make sure it is deliberate in what we are trying to achieve. As an example let's take Sachin [Tendulkar]. I probably threw between 1500 and 2000 balls to him in the net before the first Test in Mohali recently, against Australia. He was trying to achieve a feel to get him ready for series. Every player prepares differently but they need to know that I am there for them. I don't care how tired I am, I will be there and I will work with them.

I really have enjoyed these one-on-one connections with the players. That, for me, is my most fulfilling work: I love being in that space, one-on-one, in a net, with an individual, just monitoring his game. My coaching philosophy or style is him asking the questions about his game rather than me telling him about his game.

"I really have enjoyed these one-on-one connections with the players. I love being in that space, one-on-one, in a net, with an individual, just monitoring his game"

Let's talk about Tendulkar. With his experience, is he the easiest person to coach or the most difficult?
I think he is a professor in his batting. He has got incredible knowledge about his own batting and basically uses me as a sounding board. After 21 years of playing the game he still wants to learn about his batting and still feels he needs someone to bounce ideas off. It has been a real privilege to have had that opportunity. I absolutely love it.

Again, less is more. You don't need to say too much. But every now and again we have had lengthy conversations about his batting, and other times we have had very little. It does vary according to how he is feeling about his batting. One great example for young batsmen around the world I use is: Tendulkar studies the whole book for the exam. He does not leave anything to chance. He will never finish a net session till he has made sure he has done everything that he feels is required to get him ready for the next match. Sometimes it is 300 balls, other times it is 1500 balls, in the week leading up to the match. He has to leave the net feeling comfortable.

Have you learnt anything from him?
His approach to batting has been fascinating. He has got very specific ideas about his technique. I often take notes on the conversations we have about his batting as I believe there is so much learning, especially for younger players. One also needs to be mindful - it is his game, his technique and his way of playing. It is important to distinguish that it is not for everyone.

What about Gautam Gambhir?
I have enjoyed working with Gautam as well. I think we have had similar mental processes. He is quite an intense guy and very serious about his batting. He likes to be in a scrap, likes it when the pressure is on. He likes to ask me a lot of questions about how I approached things because I was in the same position [opener] as him when I played. So I try and provide him with a lot of inputs about things I felt might be able to help his game.

Part two of the interview will be published on November 9

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sameer997 on November 10, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Nice questions well answered as well I hope we get more of this. It was a slid interview well done Nagraj.

  • Rumy1 on November 10, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • Jim1207 on November 9, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    All these critics of ranking system need to come up with a new ranking logic and come with a proper rating of all teams in past 2 or 3 years, and still they would be ashamed to see that India comes out No.1 in test matches. He he.. If India beats south africa in SA, they would ask to prove beating England next summer, then they would challenge beating Australia next year in Oz. Critics can always easily criticize and it does not need a brilliant brain, no wonder that's what they do. But I just want to say one sentence to all of these intelligent geeks: Yeah, Here we come!

  • JoydeepGupta on November 9, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Surprised to see no one mentioned about Ganguly..! He is the one who brought this team together. Had there been no Ganguly today's Indian cricket would have the same fate as that of West Indies or Pakistan...!!

  • passionate_cricket_follower on November 9, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Mr Kirsten please include Laxman in the ODI squad as well. We need the experience of him in the middle order if India has to win the WC. He wins so many tests, he could have done the same in the ODI, had it not been the politics of Ganguly and co! Recently Hashim Amla has shown us that you don't need to have brute force powers to do well in ODIs. Laxman deserves to be in the one day side in pure cricketing merits. Please give him a chance to win a WC for India.

  • on November 9, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Wow!! Fantastic interview..Hats off to coach...wonderful guy who takes Indians pride to all over the world...Tks kris...contiue your journey ..All the very bes

  • Overdrive on November 9, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    woah! what an awesome photo! great photography! well the interview was great aswell! :)

  • Rumy1 on November 9, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • vishal_pintoo on November 9, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Fantastic Person....Fantastic Coach...! He knows so many things about Indian Cricket....the players...their playing styles...their mind sets...! Everything a Coach needed to have in his mind for his team. There is no surprise that Team India is the leading test team at international level. Thank you so much Gary...! We appritiate your efforts. Happy Diwali too.

  • cganga on November 9, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    Well done Nagraj, an solid interview, the question you asked about his roles, players was awsome.and gari replied very honestly. we indians expecting more from Gari to stay india in no.1 position for long long time.

  • sameer997 on November 10, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Nice questions well answered as well I hope we get more of this. It was a slid interview well done Nagraj.

  • Rumy1 on November 10, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • Jim1207 on November 9, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    All these critics of ranking system need to come up with a new ranking logic and come with a proper rating of all teams in past 2 or 3 years, and still they would be ashamed to see that India comes out No.1 in test matches. He he.. If India beats south africa in SA, they would ask to prove beating England next summer, then they would challenge beating Australia next year in Oz. Critics can always easily criticize and it does not need a brilliant brain, no wonder that's what they do. But I just want to say one sentence to all of these intelligent geeks: Yeah, Here we come!

  • JoydeepGupta on November 9, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Surprised to see no one mentioned about Ganguly..! He is the one who brought this team together. Had there been no Ganguly today's Indian cricket would have the same fate as that of West Indies or Pakistan...!!

  • passionate_cricket_follower on November 9, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Mr Kirsten please include Laxman in the ODI squad as well. We need the experience of him in the middle order if India has to win the WC. He wins so many tests, he could have done the same in the ODI, had it not been the politics of Ganguly and co! Recently Hashim Amla has shown us that you don't need to have brute force powers to do well in ODIs. Laxman deserves to be in the one day side in pure cricketing merits. Please give him a chance to win a WC for India.

  • on November 9, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Wow!! Fantastic interview..Hats off to coach...wonderful guy who takes Indians pride to all over the world...Tks kris...contiue your journey ..All the very bes

  • Overdrive on November 9, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    woah! what an awesome photo! great photography! well the interview was great aswell! :)

  • Rumy1 on November 9, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Laxman is perhaps the best batsman in world right now. Gambhir must make way for Jaffer. It's time to get the country's best bat who is not in the team back into the team. Technically and temperamentally Jaffer is the most well equipped for No.2 position and is a much better option than Vijay in Tests. Dravid must retire now. He clearly is struggling these days. Time for him to bid adieu. Pujara must be brought back in. Raina must go. He is good for ODIs and T20s but doesn't have the technique or temperament for Tests. No, Yuvraj shouldn't replace Raina. Yuvraj has got enough Test chances and is good for ODIs & T20s like Raina. Rohit like Yuvraj doesn't merit a Test place either. Kaif deserves a Test chance provided Dhoni agrees. Kaif as a wounded tiger will grab the opportunity with both hands and could be a threat for MSD as a potential future Test captain. Else Badrinath merits a Test cap. Ishant needs to be brought back in the Test XI. He is a special talent. Ojha must be persisted

  • vishal_pintoo on November 9, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Fantastic Person....Fantastic Coach...! He knows so many things about Indian Cricket....the players...their playing styles...their mind sets...! Everything a Coach needed to have in his mind for his team. There is no surprise that Team India is the leading test team at international level. Thank you so much Gary...! We appritiate your efforts. Happy Diwali too.

  • cganga on November 9, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    Well done Nagraj, an solid interview, the question you asked about his roles, players was awsome.and gari replied very honestly. we indians expecting more from Gari to stay india in no.1 position for long long time.

  • Longmemory on November 9, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    Sensible, thoughtful responses to very good questions. Kirsten's views on Indian cricketing culture and its players are fascinating - and the humility and modesty with which he is going about his work is really remarkable. Someone like that silly martinet Greg Chappell ought to laminate this interview, hang it over his desk and read it every day. A lot of the rest of us could learn quite a bit from it too, for that matter.

  • on November 9, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    "they need to win in australia before they can really be no1." in all honesty, while a win in australia would feel like a huge benchmark, surely the series in South Africa is as equally challenging?

  • on November 9, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Nice interview....it reveals the hectic details that go into each player's preparation....the best thing about Kirsten is that he has never imposed himself on his players.....Rather, he has let them warm up to his ideas.....Great going, Gary!!!

  • on November 9, 2010, 0:30 GMT

    Superb insight to coaching by a very humble and hard working Human being !!!

  • kool_Indian on November 8, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    Thanks Mr. Nagaraj and cricinfo for publishing such an amazing interview, simply loved it!@Sundar-in 2008,it was Mr.Vengsarkar who was the head of selection panel and it was at the rqst of Anil Kumble, Sehwag was picked.@third_gear-ur team loses matches from winning positions, cant even draw these days-hahaha.@Puranjay-Indian players have always been dignified other than some stray incidents like shree, etc but we needed those characters in our team to give back smthg to oppn when they oppn crosses the line.@Alexk400-thanks for making a comment in which u cant stop saying bad about RD & SRT and with your comment, its clear that u r not an Indian or you are ex-Indian who is just plain jealous of Indian Team - get a life dude seriously!@Sunil Gopinath-ask ur fav. aussies n SA to win the series in India first :P. To end my comment - when Kirsten took over as Indian coach, I had my reservations but how powerfully he broke them - thanks Kirsten, keep up the good work & lets win WORLD CUP!

  • TheNJdK on November 8, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    Very fascinating. I am rather excited to see the bidding war between Cricket South African and BCCI after the World Cup when Corrie van Zyl quits and Kirsten's contract is up. And i am praying that CSA win that (although outbidding BCCI does sound like a bit of an unlikely scenario). Gazza was my favorite player in his day, and seeing him back in a SA change room would jut be perfect.

  • on November 8, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    they need to win in australia before they can really be no1.

  • mdavidwesley on November 8, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    This interview should be read by all other coaches and players. Not only, it should be read by parents, teachers, students and other professionals. The man has immense wisdom to handle issues. It applies every other field. I am an English Lecturer. I am going to urge all my students to read this interview. Practical Wisdom personified in Kirsten. Waiting for the next part of the interview.

  • Alexk400 on November 8, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Indians are not structured people. Each come from different region and have different perspective. Bottom line is all are same except indians do not have structure and planning.

    Kirsten is a good manager. He understand his role. Greg was making decision for the players and messed up the relationship. Kirsten make players make their own decision.

    Best way to be powerful is give the power to others to make their decision. Human need for freedom is the key to success.

    Sehwag needs happy environment to succeed. I think dhoni and kirsten understand Sehwag is X factor that opposition fear. So they keep sehwag happy so he can be the cyclone that leaves opposition bowlers in disarray for dravid and sachin to accumulate in benign condition.

    I really want Kirsten to improve Ishant sharma to be world class bowler. That is where he can shine. AT present indian bowlers except zaheer khan not working hard enough.

  • on November 8, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    i like gary as a player even tho he used to play slow. and the most important thing is he is a great man manager otherwise players like sehwag couldn't play destructive cricket continuously. 1 request to him "plz help dhoni to improve his batting" his batting have bcom pathetic day by day

  • on November 8, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Fascinating stuff. Providing a structure, yet getting it to be flexible enough to make sure that all the players are given responsibility to take care of their own preparation. I guess that is professional sport, but seems that his character is well suited to getting top cricketers to give a little bit more, without having to crack the whip.

    Forget being an underrated coach, I think understated would be better. Seems that the Yarpies/Zimbos have a bit of a monopoly on successful and understated coaches over the last few years.

  • dr.jha on November 8, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    iits all about work ethics... pure and simple... younger players imbibe what their seniors do.. the way they go about thier job.. in the nets , in the middle.. in public.. wherever.. and if you have someone like kirsten to look up to... someone who himself had a very good work ethic... its gold.. also .. thought process has to be clear..any darn fool can make simple things crazily tough... but it takes a genius to make a tough thing simple.. well done fellas... show me you can beat south africa in south africa... that will shut up few of the critics at least... good job..

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on November 8, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Great interview and nice words by Gary, Under-rated and yet successfull coach. Good luck!

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I always admired the dignity with which Kirsten carried himself when he was an opener for SA (in contrast to the brashness of his partner, Gibbs). He's taught the same dignity to this team and it has reaped wonderful results.

    People say that this team has performed wonderfully under Dhoni. Let's not forget Kirsten contribution to that.

    Unlike Chappell, who was only interested in destroying Indian cricket and undermining Indian cricketers, here we have Tendulkar, Dhoni, Sehwag, and Gambhir saying it out loud that Kirsten is the best coach they've had and they desperately want him to stay put.

    Let's hope BCCI hears them out and extends Kirsten's contract. The players love him, and it shows in their performance.

    Who else could've convinced Harbhajan that he can actually score a test century? The spinner's batting record has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 2 years, and I daresay Kirsten had a big hand to play in it.

  • Third_Gear on November 8, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Funny No 1 Test Team. Shiver of NZ team n play for Draw with full errorfts. Lifting up the quality of test matches.HA HA HA.

  • azhar_jeddah on November 8, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Yap! I agree to what Guru Gary says. But I think they must rest at least each one of them for a Test Match. For example, Rest Dravid Play Pujara, Then bring Dravid back, Rest Sachin bring in M.Vijay. In this way we can give all of them proper rest in between the series and also give an opportunity to the Young's to play.

    Also we need backup for Zak. We need to prepare someoneā€¦

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Indian Summers- 2 .......on the way !

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    2nd best coach i hav e seen after bob Woolmer i wud say...

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Great interview...Plenty of lessons for any form of management in here.

  • sundarb on November 8, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    If Virender Sehwag is a consistently dominant and destructive batsman today, we have to thank Kris Srikkanth, for backing him during the 2008 Australia tour and Gary Kirsten's work to make him become as consistent as possible while still being aggressive. This whole interview shows why Gary Kirsten is the right man for the job, he really knows what it takes to be a successful man manager.

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    I have always believed Kirsten would be one of the better things that would have happened to Indian Cricket and this article was like the evidence for that belief. Hope he goes along like this for long.

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    What a breath of Fresh air especially after Chappell did his best to destroy Indian cricket!! No wonder we're the best right now. All the best Gary and team :-)

  • kaigvgv on November 8, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Thanks cricinfo !! i have been waiting to see what gary says about his coaching experience with India...he has been a great coach for india and helped india to become test no 1.

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  • kaigvgv on November 8, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    Thanks cricinfo !! i have been waiting to see what gary says about his coaching experience with India...he has been a great coach for india and helped india to become test no 1.

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    What a breath of Fresh air especially after Chappell did his best to destroy Indian cricket!! No wonder we're the best right now. All the best Gary and team :-)

  • on November 8, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    I have always believed Kirsten would be one of the better things that would have happened to Indian Cricket and this article was like the evidence for that belief. Hope he goes along like this for long.

  • sundarb on November 8, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    If Virender Sehwag is a consistently dominant and destructive batsman today, we have to thank Kris Srikkanth, for backing him during the 2008 Australia tour and Gary Kirsten's work to make him become as consistent as possible while still being aggressive. This whole interview shows why Gary Kirsten is the right man for the job, he really knows what it takes to be a successful man manager.

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Great interview...Plenty of lessons for any form of management in here.

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    2nd best coach i hav e seen after bob Woolmer i wud say...

  • on November 8, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Indian Summers- 2 .......on the way !

  • azhar_jeddah on November 8, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Yap! I agree to what Guru Gary says. But I think they must rest at least each one of them for a Test Match. For example, Rest Dravid Play Pujara, Then bring Dravid back, Rest Sachin bring in M.Vijay. In this way we can give all of them proper rest in between the series and also give an opportunity to the Young's to play.

    Also we need backup for Zak. We need to prepare someoneā€¦

  • Third_Gear on November 8, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Funny No 1 Test Team. Shiver of NZ team n play for Draw with full errorfts. Lifting up the quality of test matches.HA HA HA.

  • on November 8, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    I always admired the dignity with which Kirsten carried himself when he was an opener for SA (in contrast to the brashness of his partner, Gibbs). He's taught the same dignity to this team and it has reaped wonderful results.

    People say that this team has performed wonderfully under Dhoni. Let's not forget Kirsten contribution to that.

    Unlike Chappell, who was only interested in destroying Indian cricket and undermining Indian cricketers, here we have Tendulkar, Dhoni, Sehwag, and Gambhir saying it out loud that Kirsten is the best coach they've had and they desperately want him to stay put.

    Let's hope BCCI hears them out and extends Kirsten's contract. The players love him, and it shows in their performance.

    Who else could've convinced Harbhajan that he can actually score a test century? The spinner's batting record has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 2 years, and I daresay Kirsten had a big hand to play in it.