We must carry momentum from Australia: Kirsten
New India coach Gary Kirsten hopes his team will maintain the momentum gained in Australia when they face South Africa in a home test series starting next week.Updated: Apr 05, 2008 13:15 IST
New India coach Gary Kirsten wants his team to maintain the momentum gained in Australia when they face his native South Africa in a home test series starting next week.
India lost a controversial four-test series 2-1 in Australia but their performances lifted them to second place in the International Cricket Council test rankings.
India then beat the hosts 2-0 in the finals of the one-day tri-series.
"Say, we come home now and if this team can win a series against a team like South Africa, it would mean that the team is on the right road," Kirsten told Times of India on Wednesday.
"And that would be very much something I would like to assist this team in doing."
Kirsten, 40, spent a few weeks with the team during the test series in Australia but his first challenge as coach comes against South Africa.
"The South African team is very competitive. They are playing good cricket and they play well in India," said Kirsten, a left-handed opening batsman who played over 100 tests and one-dayers in the 90s.
"The reason why I say they will play well here is because I know how we used to prepare when we came here," he said.
Kirsten succeeds Australian Greg Chappell in one of the world's most demanding coaching jobs.
"I think it's a challenge, but (then) it's a privilege. It (pressure) comes with the territory but the privilege of coaching a national team of this stature, I don't think you can turn down lightly.
"There are pressures that come with it, but one needs to accept those pressures."
India play three tests against South Africa, the first starting in Chennai on March 26.