"The game is changing every year, so if you are not improving, you are going to be found out": Gary Kirsten

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Gary Kirsten (Pakistan Coach) post-match Press Conference - 9th June 2024

[Reporter:] Do you think the team took more pressure on themselves than was required?

[Gary Kirsten:]

You are pretty much spot-on. These guys are all international players and they're aware that when they're not performing at their best that there's going to be pressure put on them. That's understandable, but a lot of these guys have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world over many, many years and it's really up to them to decide how they're going to take their games forward.

[Reporter:]

There was a lot of talk about the track after the first few games here, some people saying it was dangerous and unacceptable and so on. I mean it was obviously a tricky one to bat on, but how would you describe that surface for a T20 World Cup game?

[Gary Kirsten:]

So, I think it wasn't dangerous by any stretch. I mean the odd one rose up sharply but not many. It generally kept a little bit lower. I think we were able to score for both batting sides and also a fairly slow outfield, so it was never going to be a big total. I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch. So, India didn't get that so I thought we had the game. We knew it was going to be tight but sometimes it's fun seeing games like that as well. It's not always about sixes and hitting, getting 230’s and 240’s. You can actually have a really entertaining game on a 120 chase. So, I don't think it's bad for the game.

[Reporter:]

My question is that the big team always hold their nerves. In one match we cannot defend the total, in another match we cannot chase the total. What is the mental block? What is the issue? Whether the captaincy, whether the players are not gelling in, what is the exact issue, what do you explain as a coach, head coach?

[Gary Kirsten:]

As I said, I've only been here a handful of days. I'm having a look into the environment and looking at what the issues are. I look at these players, I've watched them play many, many years on TV and kind of getting to know them, they're fantastic guys. They're playing for their country, so they really are pumped. I mean, there's a lot of very disappointed guys in the change room now. I think for me the most important thing for every international players that you continue growing and developing as a player and understanding what the demands of international competition are. The game is changing pretty much every year. So, if you're not up to it and you're not improving, you're going to get found out somewhere.

[Reporter:]

Winning the toss, bowling first, we saw that there was a game plan when Pakistan were doing bowling. But Chasing 120 runs, what was the message or what was the decision when the openers Babar and Rizwan went in? What was the game plan in the middle of the match and after 10 overs you rushed to the field as well. You had a quick meeting with the guys, Rizwan, and Usman, what was your message and why they were not able to execute your strategy?

[Gary Kirsten:]

So, the message from all of us was to look for the odd boundary, try and capitalise on the loose balls and make sure that you can get as many ones as you can through the innings And I thought we did that brilliantly for 15 overs. We kept it at a run a ball, and then we lost wickets and then we stopped scoring ones and then we were looking for boundaries and once you've got to that point it was always going to be hard. So, the message was to do what we executed on for 15 overs.

[Reporter:]

As a coach, do you think in T20 cricket modern day batters have forgotten the importance of tapping the ball around and running for ones and twos?

[Gary Kirsten:]

I think certainly on a pitch like that it is really, really important to be able to rotate the strike. So, I agree with you that sometimes it's fun to watch a game like this where it's not only about hitting boundaries, but you also have to be able to use 120 balls really well. As I said, we did for 15 overs and then we lost the plot.

[Reporter:]

Focusing on the positives you can take away from today's match. If you compare the performance in the first to the second match, in the first match Pakistan only took three wickets against the USA, today you bowled out India, right?

Obviously, the pitches are different, but was there something in the bowling attack coming together? Is there something that you saw among the team that happened that led to at least a much stronger bowling performance?

[Gary Kirsten:]

Yeah, I was very excited by the bowling performance. Got better and better and we've tracked their stats over the last 15 odd games, and they've been an incredible bowling unit from overs 10 to 20 and we did that again today - I think our record between overs 10 to 20 as a bowling unit is up there with the best.

We've got four fantastic seamers and Imad Wasim I thought bowled really well today as well. So, we’ve got some nice options on the ball with the team and I think we're going to be a difficult team to bat against if we bowl like that. So that's a positive going forward. Obviously, there's a concern around how we can put our innings together and structure it. We did really nicely in the last game against USA where Shadab Khan and Baba put on a partnership of 70 when we were 26 for 3. But period, we're losing too many wickets. As a batting unit, you can't lose as many wickets as we are losing. Players have got to take responsibility when that opportunity comes.

[Reporter:]

Could you give us the thought process behind promoting Imad Waseem and Shadab over Iftikhar?

[Gary Kirsten:]

It was just, Imad came in, we just wanted to have left-hand, right-hand combinations throughout, especially if they were going to use their spinners. Yeah, so that was the decision.
 
Sounds exactly like Mickey Arthur.
I still believe it was not Kristen's brilliance behind the scene but once in a lifetime combo of great players playing under a very astutue captain in MSD on a home soil gave us the WC win in 2011. Gary just could not replicate similar results with any other team he coached ever since.

In fact, he was rejected for some of the coaching jobs post his India career as he could not articulte convincingly to the prospective employers (his ECB job interview few years back, comes to my mind) about what he is bringing into the table for them.

He could be an upgraded version (hoping at least he won't wear his emotions on the sleeve) of Mickey Arthur (who always came across as a big showoff who regurgitated cliched popoulist statement in the media but nothing great to right home about in terms of results), though.

It's too early to tell, but his start as a coach (tactical side of it)has not been great so far.
 
I still believe it was not Kristen's brilliance behind the scene but once in a lifetime combo of great players playing under a very astutue captain in MSD on a home soil gave us the WC win in 2011. Gary just could not replicate similar results with any other team he coached ever since.

In fact, he was rejected for some of the coaching jobs post his India career as he could not articulte convincingly to the prospective employers (his ECB job interview few years back, comes to my mind) about what he is bringing into the table for them.

He could be an upgraded version (hoping at least he won't wear his emotions on the sleeve) of Mickey Arthur (who always came across as a big showoff who regurgitated cliched popoulist statement in the media but nothing great to right home about in terms of results), though.

It's too early to tell, but his start as a coach (tactical side of it)has not been great so far.
Aren't great players always the reason behind a team's success?
 
Aren't great players always the reason behind a team's success?
Not disagreeing with you, but the narrative that was set/built around our 2011 WC win (at least in popular media) was more about Kirsten and his team's masterful handling of superstars of Indian cricket team and how it resulted in world cup win for team India.

While there may be some truth to it but I feel Kirsten's role in all of this is over-exaggerated.
 
Not disagreeing with you, but the narrative that was set/built around our 2011 WC win (at least in popular media) was more about Kirsten and his team's masterful handling of superstars of Indian cricket team and how it resulted in world cup win for team India.

While there may be some truth to it but I feel Kirsten's role in all of this is over-exaggerated.

Tendulkar on record said that Dhoni was the best captain he played under and Kirsten was the best coach he played under.
 
Really like how he has interspersed tough messages, I hope he is conveying those to the players too.
 
Cricket boat has sail long ago and Pakistan left behind , just wait and see in next 5 years , the level of upcoming batters and spinners are far worse than what currently we have in yesterday's playing XI.
 
Cricket boat has sail long ago and Pakistan left behind , just wait and see in next 5 years , the level of upcoming batters and spinners are far worse than what currently we have in yesterday's playing XI.
Afghanistan will likely overtake Pakistan. The amount of mystery spinners that come out of Afghanistan is staggering.
 
All talk is good but is the Pakistan coach keeping an eye on the NRR?
 
Really like how he has interspersed tough messages, I hope he is conveying those to the players too.
Yes i like that too.. He didnt take any name but has shown the elephant in the room nonchalantly (game is evolving if you dont improve , you will be found out ).. Two games in WT20 , Azam gone and Iftikar gone...way to go...
 
All talk is good but is the Pakistan coach keeping an eye on the NRR?
You are not understanding the issue here. The coach probably did have an eye on the NRR

It’s the two friends Babar and Rizwan who always think about doing things in their way and block out any plans or strategies given to them on the field. Rizwan probably told himself to just get the two points and remain not out for the averages. He probably is banking on USA losing to India and Ireland, and Pakistan cruising to victory against Ireland in the last match.


The other thing he could have had in his mind is, he knows Pakistan is out as USA will go through with either the Pakistan v Ireland game or the USA v Ireland game being washed out. So why try for NRR and get out on a difficult wicket with your personal score being poor? Why not stay not out, score a 50 and stake your claim as the next captain of Pakistan with Babar dead set to be sacked?

It’s not the coach mate, it’s the laanti players he has inherited in this set up, who are the most influential and powerful
 
Gary has not had a great start to his stint as Pakistan's head coach. He took up a job that many will not accept. Good luck to him
 
Tendulkar on record said that Dhoni was the best captain he played under and Kirsten was the best coach he played under.

Kirsten seems like a really good coach if first impressions are anything to go by, I like that he has said players who don't adapt will get moved on. To be effective he needs to be given a free hand to whip the team into shape, there are many issues to address and he needs to be involved at many levels given the lack of professionalism rampant in Pakistan cricket.
 
I still believe it was not Kristen's brilliance behind the scene but once in a lifetime combo of great players playing under a very astutue captain in MSD on a home soil gave us the WC win in 2011. Gary just could not replicate similar results with any other team he coached ever since.

In fact, he was rejected for some of the coaching jobs post his India career as he could not articulte convincingly to the prospective employers (his ECB job interview few years back, comes to my mind) about what he is bringing into the table for them.

He could be an upgraded version (hoping at least he won't wear his emotions on the sleeve) of Mickey Arthur (who always came across as a big showoff who regurgitated cliched popoulist statement in the media but nothing great to right home about in terms of results), though.

It's too early to tell, but his start as a coach (tactical side of it)has not been great so far.
Coach alone cannot create world champion teams, he needs players too. and ECB is no benchmark of smart selection.
 
No point changing the coach when the entire Pak system is corrupt. We have a politician like Mohsin Naqvi in charge of our Cricket for goodness sake. That would be like Rishi Sunak leading the English Football side for the coming Euro's. This "major surgery" has been done so many times now that our Cricket would have died many times had it been a person. The whole thing stinks of nepotism, favoritism and corruption.
 
The man has an ODI WC trophy, No 1 Test, ODI rankings for India and South Africa under his belt. He deserves a chance to prove he can make a difference.
He is an excellent coach for sure.

If he is prepared to commit his long-term future to Pakistan cricket, I will support the decision of giving him totalitarian authority so that he can pick his own team and his own captain and his own playing style.

However, if he is only going to be here for maximum 2 years, there is no point in giving him ultimate authority. It will be a waste of time.
 
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