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Staying calm is the key, says Kirsten

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WORDS OF WISDOM: Gary Kirsten, the Indian coach, stressed on the important factors that could determine the outcome of the series against Australia.
WORDS OF WISDOM: Gary Kirsten, the Indian coach, stressed on the important factors that could determine the outcome of the series against Australia.

Principal Correspondent

The Indian coach says that the seamers have shaped up well

Bangalore: India cricket coach Gary Kirsten believes that the team that stays calm will have the last laugh in the forthcoming Test series between India and Australia.

“The Australians have done their homework and in close situations, it will boil down to who is going to be the calmest. India has got the best record against Australia in recent times and we know what to do game-wise as well as mentally,” Kirsten said after the preparatory camp concluded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Friday.

Is the coach enthused by the Board President’s XI’s good show so far against a full-strength Australian team at Hyderabad? Kirsten’s reply pointed out the steel in the Aussie spine.

Team effort

“I am not looking at the Hyderabad game too closely because I know it will be a different Australian team that will walk in and play Test cricket. We have looked at the Australian side in terms of their strengths and weakness and we have also introspected about our team. It is all about team effort because a big effort from just one or two players won’t be adequate. We need a lot of guys to give some big performances,” Kirsten said.

Queried on whether playing at Bangalore and Nagpur, two venues where the Indians have lost Tests to the Aussies previously, might give the edge to Ricky Ponting’s men, Kirsten said: “We are not concerned. If we are going to be a team worth anything then we need to perform on all kinds of pitches and in all conditions. It is good to have two spinners who have so many wickets and that works in our favour but we believe that regardless of the conditions, we have enough balance and experience to win games.”

Kirsten also steered clear of the senior versus junior debate. “We should move on and instead of focussing on individuals, we need to focus on the team,” said Kirsten.

When asked about Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s centuries at Hyderabad, the coach added: “It is heartening to see them play well. We want competition for places. They are very talented young cricketers and there are others as well and it is good for Indian cricket.”

Happy with camp

Kirsten was also happy with the five-day camp. “We got time to work on our internal processes. We got five days of work and on Thursday we also did team-building exercises. We have done different things and this is probably the first time we got so much time in the lead up to a series. We have prepared well,” Kirsten said.

The coach said that the seamers have shaped up well.

“Munaf has stepped up the plate; Ishant and Zaheer have bowled well. As for the team composition, we have thought about options like five bowlers for better luck or pick an extra seamer but the team is pretty stable at the moment and there is no specific reason for change,” Kirsten said.

He added that there are no worries over Virender Sehwag, who missed practice. “Sehwag is down with a sore throat but he is fine,” Kirsten said.

Meanwhile on the camp’s last day, the players had a round of nets with seamers L. Balaji, Yomahesh and Pankaj Singh, who are at the National Cricket Academy, also chipping in some spells.

While the players left for their respective States, M.S. Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh opted to stay back and continue training as their schedule of connecting flights hardly gave them enough time at home.

The Indian team will assemble here on Monday for the first Test commencing on October 9.

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