Gary Kirsten, the head coach of the Delhi Daredevils, was a key motivator of the Indian team when it won the 2011 World Cup. Expected to work the same magic, Kirsten has a task at hand. Here, he answers a few questions on his role at DD.
What new concepts do you propose to introduce in the IPL?
I’m new to IPL, so I have spent a significant portion of time listening and trying to understand how it all works. There seems to be a high level of intensity in the tournament and I’m looking forward to working within that space.
How good is the competitive flavour of IPL when compared to international standards?
I’m not sure as I have not been directly involved. However, it appears to be a highly competitive environment with a real opportunity for cricketers to come to terms with high pressure situations.
What was your planning when picking Delhi Daredevils players at the auction?
We wanted to pick a team that had good balance and could provide us with a variety of options.
How does Delhi Daredevils compare with other teams in terms of balance?
I think all teams have quality players in their squad. I guess that’s how the auction process is meant to work.
What is the strength of Delhi Daredevils?
Difficult to say at this point, but we have tried to select a squad that allows for flexibility. We have also aimed at selecting individuals who are athletic and offer more than just their core skill.
How would you react to criticism that the team does not possess any of Delhi’s stars like Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Unmukt Chand and not even veterans like Rajat Bhatia and Mithun Manhas? It is hardly Delhi Daredevils in that context…
The focus of the owners of the franchise is to produce a team that the people of Delhi can be proud of. There will be less focus on individuals and more on our achievements and successes as a team. We would want the people of Delhi to passionately support and get behind their team and not only the individuals in the team.
Finally, what are your impressions of Delhi as a city? I know you have not spent much time in India’s Capital but what is your lasting impression of this city?
I look forward to exploring the city more. Each city in India has a rich heritage and they are all unique. I have enjoyed Delhi as a city the few times I have been here.