Mumbai: There is a glow surrounding this Indian team, and one person surely basking in it, is Indian coach Gary Kirsten. And why not. After Rahul Dravid’s dismissal, early in the first session it seemed that the best India could do was to draw the match. Instead, thanks to half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh and a classic Sachin Tendulkar hundred, India had turned the match on its head, and at the end of the day were celebrating a famous win.
Talking to Neo Cricket, Kirsten said: “England were on top but we still felt that we could win. Then it was up to England to make a plan. We went into the fifth day saying that we could do it. We were sure that we could make it. I had seen Sehwag play and knew what he was capable of and Sachin was of course equally good.”
Nine years ago, Tendulkar had hit a breathtaking century at this same gound. The opponents that time were Pakistan. However they lost on that occasion. This time it was all different. “The players were nervous but when you have Tendulkar at the crease, playing as he did, the nervousness seems to disappear,” said Kirsten, echoing the sentiments of millions of Indians.
“Yuvraj has felt the heat but you need just one innings to turn it around,” said Kirsten, once a stodgy southpaw himself. “We told him to pretend he was playing a one day innings, and to play positively.”
The Indian team has found a certain balance and a team that has the gumption and belief to win a match like this. “Our batting line-up is getting decent scores and there is great balance in the bowling line-up,” said Kirsten. It is becoming a regular feature of this Indian team that wins do rest singularly on the shoulders of a single man.
Kirsten speaking on the game said the fact that a game of this nature was played spoke volumes about both teams and that credit was due to both teams.”It’s been amazing being part of this setup and its been really big for me,” said Kirsten of his experience so far, as coach of the team.
After a hard day’s work on the ground, it is time to party for the Indian team. “I’m sure they have a plan for tonight. I have a sense that they will enjoy this one.” They certainly will Gary, they certainly will.