Good morning friends. Team is playing with a lot of pride with coach Kirsten. The outcome of this Test notwithstanding, India have outthought and outmanoeuvred South Africa in every sphere. This, after they were swamped aside in four days in Nagpur. It was obvious that the defeat had shaken them up.
South Africa went to the first Test battle hardened. They had a tough Test series against England as opposed to a slightly undercooked India. MS Dhoni’s men didn’t have to face 145-plus speed rockets against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
So what changed post Nagpur? First, India had to move to a different zone mentally. Coach Gary Kirsten admitted that it dawned that the team had to work on some specific areas. The manner of defeat at Nagpur did hurt and it only fuelled their resolve to come back stronger. Kirsten said, “There was a bit of talk around and they said they would sort it out. This team is playing with a lot of pride at the moment.”
He stressed that the first Test was edifying in the sense that the Indians realised that one good session could make the difference, and the key was to build pressure, be alert to the moment. “We know in a two match series, one session can make the difference. It happened with South Africa in Nagpur and it happened with us here,” Kirsten said.
Kirsten revealed that India were stimulated by South African adventure-explorer Mike Horn’s pep talk 72 hours before the Test. India had apparently asked him what must be done when the mind his plagued by doubts. Horn said opponents often pick up significant clues from body language and thus one should put forth a stern exterior, regardless of the situation.
“It was just fantastic to listen to him,” Kirsten said, “Paddy Upton (the mental conditioning coach) organised it for the team. The guys were really inspired by him. The timing just worked well. He is quite a busy man, and at the moment he is travelling around the world. He just happened to be in this area this time. The guys really enjoyed his inspirational stuff.”
Moving on to what’s in store in the Test, Kirsten feels that it has boiled down to the number of overs that will be available on the final day. “It all depends on how much time we have, I suppose. They got some good players all the way through. Amit (Mishra) bowled really good and so did Harbhajan Singh,” he added. – AhmedabadMirror