Gary Kirsten, the newly appointed Delhi Daredevils coach, reckoned it would be a massive challenge for India to escape unscathed from their proposed tour to South Africa later this year.
“South Africa will be tough to beat at home. In Tests, it will become tougher. If they do that, it will be a great performance,’’ opined Kirsten, who endorses a full-fledged than a curtailed series.
However, in the ODIs, he deems India have better chance. “India are comfortably the best one-day team in the world. It will be a massive challenge for South Africa as the wickets will be much flatter,’’ he said.
Asked how different it was coaching India and South Africa, Kirsten reflected, “My coaching philosophy did not change much. The great thing about leadership or coaching is to get the best thing out of the players. What I was doing with Indian players was potentially different with South African players.’’
Kirsten said it was a privilege to have someone like Mahendra Singh Dhoni as skipper. “He is an incredible leader, an incredible presence, as a player and as a captain. He is a humble man and is very astute, intelligent, to term it as street wise. We complemented each other well because I was a South African with a detailed study. I dealt that stuff with a lot of base and I just allowed him to be the ‘person’ when he went out to the field. The other thing about him is that he is the best player under pressure,’’ he said.
He said he was fortunate to coach a lot of established players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman or Virender Sehwag. “There was never any formal meeting but I made sure that I had space with them whether it was,’’ he said.