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Things of two days ago are forgotten, team is motivated for India match: Kirsten

Gary Kirsten has been associated with Indian cricket for the last 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.

Now in the Twenty20 World Cup, he finds himself in a different situation, literally and figuratively

The former Indian World Cup-winning coach, who is currently the head coach of Pakistan, said on the eve of the match between the traditional rivals, “I have been with the team for 13 days, so it is early days for me.” Despite the short time, he has already settled well into the Pakistan team.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players, they’re very good players, they’re giving their best for their country and at the end of the day, everybody has a different way of playing the game. My job is to really understand that way and how it integrates into what we’re trying to do as a team,” he said on Thursday. A consummate professional, Kirsten knows how to adapt to the demands of his job. However, there are understandable questions about whether he would share information about the Indian team with the Pakistan dressing room. “The way I would answer it is, I think these players have seen enough of each other and the way they play. At the end of the day we want to make sure we play our game the right way. Look at the conditions and what’s required in the conditions because I think it’s going to be a big game tomorrow,” he said, pointing out that information about international teams is very much in the public domain. As India coach he was involved in two matches against Pakistan. One of them was the 2011 semi-final in Mohali, which India won. The other match was played in the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa. How different is the atmosphere then and now? I went for a walk early in the morning today, which I like to do early in the morning, and I definitely cycled a bit around the stadium and I thought there would be a good atmosphere there tomorrow. So it will be exciting for all of us that so many people have come to support both teams,” Kirsten said.

Kirsten’s start with the Pakistan team was quite a roller-coaster, with the team losing their first match to the lower-ranked US team. He faced a lot of questions about how he would motivate the players and how to make them recover from the defeat, which has been heavily criticised in Pakistan. His answer was that international teams do not need motivation.

It’s never good for any player not to win a cricket match

They are trying their best. It’s never good. I think the important thing for us is to work honestly as a team. Yes, we need players to perform well, but playing games like this, I think it’s really a team effort. It’s a big game, so we’ll take it just like any other game. But of course, we’ll try our best. The team is motivated. I mean, if that’s what you’re questioning, then what happened two days ago is forgotten. We can’t take it back. It’s gone. So, move on.”