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T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan head coach Gary Kirsten says team is motivated to face India after USA setback

Gary Kirsten, now head coach of Pakistan, discusses the team's preparation and motivation ahead of their crucial T20 World Cup clash against India, emphasising that past defeats are behind them and the focus is on the upcoming match.

T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan head coach Gary Kirsten says team is motivated to face India after USA setback osf
First Published Jun 9, 2024, 8:21 AM IST

Gary Kirsten, who has been intimately involved with Indian cricket for much of the past 16 years, now finds himself on the other side of the fence. Kirsten, who coached the Indian team from 2008 to 2011 and later various IPL teams including Gujarat Titans, is now the head coach of Pakistan at the Twenty20 World Cup.

"Well, I've been with the team for 13 days, so it's early days for me," said Kirsten, speaking on the eve of a match between traditional rivals India and Pakistan. Despite the short time, he has already integrated well into the Pakistan setup. "It's been a real privilege to work with the Pakistan team. I've thoroughly enjoyed the players—they're lovely guys, giving their best for their country. Everyone has a different way of playing the game, and my job is to understand that and integrate it into what we're trying to do as a team," he said on Thursday.

Kirsten, a thorough professional, is adept at adapting to his job's demands. Questions have arisen about whether he might share insights about the Indian team with the Pakistan dressing room. Kirsten dismissed these concerns, saying, "These players have seen enough of each other and how they play. We want to make sure we get our game right. Look at the conditions and what is required because that's going to be a big play for tomorrow."

As India's coach, Kirsten was involved in two games against Pakistan, including the 2011 World Cup semifinal in Mohali and the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa. Reflecting on the atmosphere now versus then, he said, "I think it is a little bit different because it's not in India or Pakistan. I went for a ride early this morning around the stadium and felt there's going to be a good vibe tomorrow. It’s exciting to have so many people coming out to support the two teams."

Kirsten's tenure with Pakistan started on a rough note with a loss to the lower-ranked USA in their opening match. Facing questions about motivating the team after the defeat, Kirsten emphasized that international players do not need extra motivation. "It's never nice not winning games of cricket for any player. They’re trying their best. I don't think I needed to motivate this team for this game. The important thing for us is to operate genuinely as a team. Yes, we need individuals to perform well, but playing games like this is a real team effort. The team's motivated. Two days ago is forgotten. We can't take it back. It's gone. So, move on," he said.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Chris Gayle discusses India vs Pakistan matchup and USA's strong performances

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