Gary Kirsten: "You can't coach any team if you don't have the players 'buy in'" © AFP

Gary Kirsten has delayed accepting the position of India's coach after hearing about alleged "unhappiness" among some senior players about him being offered the job.

Kirsten had originally set Monday as the date for signing the contract but reports emanating from India over the weekend have caused him to rethink.

"I have heard the rumours about some senior players expressing their concern about my possible appointment and I would prefer to have clarity on that before I commit myself to the job," Kirsten said.

"I'm not sure whether the players do have concerns or not. I only met Anil Kumble on my recent trip to Delhi and he was very supportive. If there are concerns then I would like to find out whether they are about me as an individual or the process by which I was interviewed and then offered the job."

Indian newspapers quoted anonymous senior players as saying that the current management structure was working well and that Kirsten's appointment was unnecessary.

"There is absolutely no need for a coach at this moment," an unnamed player was quoted as saying in the Mumbai Mirror.

Kirsten said he was keen to speak to more players to make sure he understood their feelings. "I'm not going to rush because it's a very important position in world cricket and the decision needs to be made carefully and in conjunction with all the right people, but mostly the players. You can't coach any team if you don't have the players 'buy in'," Kirsten said. "I've written to the board to explain my feelings."

"You can't afford to start a job like this on the back foot. Everybody needs to understand each other and share the same goals and aspirations, otherwise you'll spend half your time trying to make sure you're all on the same wavelength instead of concentrating on playing the best cricket," Kirsten said.

Kirsten had been interviewed by the BCCI selection committee on November 26 and was given a week to make his decision. He later said that though he had a week to give an answer, the decision was "pretty much a reality".

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said he was yet to "receive any official mail" from Kirsten.

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency