Kirsten hopes to improve the Delhi Daredevils for next year’s IPL

2013-09-05 00:00

FORMER India and Proteas coach Gary Kirsten hopes to lift the fortunes of Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit the Delhi Daredevils in next year’s competition.

He joins fellow South African Eric Simons in the coaching role at a franchise desperately in need of improvement, after a tough campaign this year saw only three wins to their credit.

“Having the opportunity to work with Eric was a major factor in my decision to get involved,” said Kirsten.

“Our working styles and philosophies compliment each other. I enjoy working with him and always learn from him.”

Having stepped down as Protea coach earlier this year to spend more time with his family and concentrate on opportunities on home ground, Kirsten said he was excited at getting involved in T20 franchise cricket.

“I love coaching and getting involved in what has become a massive tournament,” he said.

“Thankfully, it has a time limit on it — being only eight weeks. So there is not too much disruption to family life. Having worked in India, I have an understanding on how big the game is in the country and have always been fascinated with India as a cricket destination.”

Since stepping out of the Protea limelight, Kirsten has enjoyed the opportunity to be with his family, reconnecting with life and the community in Cape Town.

“I have been busy finalising the details of building an indoor centre at my cricket academy. This has been a dream of mine for years and I finally have time to give it my attention,” he said.

He has also been involved in the business environment, doing leadership presentations, which he has “thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from”.

Cricket will always be part of Kirsten’s life and he has some thoughts on the Protea one-day squad, remaining positive when looking ahead.

“Over the past two years, the ODI team has been a place for us to explore our talent and find combinations to take the team to the next World Cup. The Test side has been the main focus though, and we have ensured that key players are fresh and ready for the demands of every Test match,” he said.

“This has resulted in the ODI side suffering, as key players who play in both formats have been rested. However, the positive is we have found a group of players who are gaining considerable ODI experience.”

In this regard, Kirsten highlighted A.B. de Villiers in a leadership role, Ryan McLaren, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and David Miller who would lead the team to success.

“I don’t see the composition of the ODI side changing too much until the 2015 World Cup,” he said. “People need to be patient and not go into crisis-management mode if the team is a little inconsistent.”

Kirsten seems to be the right man to change the Delhi Daredevils’ fortunes, remaining calm and focused, and going through the basics and letting the players do the job on the field.

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