There has been a lot of talk on Mendis and Murali and we will have to admit they are very good spinners. Mendis is not the easiest to play and difficult to read, says the Indian coach in an interview.
Coach Gary Kirsten left for South Africa on Tuesday to attend his ailing mother. The BCCI confirmed there was no interim appointment to replace Kirsten. The date for the South African’s return is also not known.
Kirsten said he had full faith in Anil Kumble and had had a good discussion with him and that the team was refreshed after the win in Galle. Addressing the media before his departure the coach touched on various issues.
On the team’s mood now: I knew the team had the ability to bounce back. They have a proved it in the past. We were happy and chuffed with the response of the team. They lifted their performance by at least by 20 per cent to pull themselves back into contention. But the important thing is there is a real awareness about things to achieve in the next Test. And we have always believed that when this team is firing on all cylinders it can match the best in the world. There was tremendous hurt after the loss and it started with Anil Kumble. He is a fanstastic leader and fighter. And that is the great thing about this team too. They do get hurt a lot when they lose.
On Ishant’s spell: He is a quality seamer. At the moment he stands out. I was impressed with what he has to offer. There are always going to be little issues that he has got to handle. He is a young bowler he is learning how to go about in Test cricket. We also have a session where we talk about each batsman. But sometimes for a young pacer all this can get quite confusing. So at the end of the day we tell him to bowl where you can and bowl your natural length. And when he is bowling his natural length he is as good as anyone in the world.
On Dinesh Karthik: I had a chat with him after the match. No decision has been made on the team for the final game. There is no denying that he took a knock in the last match. He made a few errors but he also contributed. . He is one of the better players of spin and also good at the sweep shot, just that it did not come off well . I am not sure on his state of mind but it is a question of where he goes from here.
On Sehwag’s knock: He has a different game. The success of any player depends on how he sticks to his game. He plays that way because he has got the skills to do it consistently. If Sehwag gets 90 or 100 it is going to look very different to how Dravid gets a 90 or 100 and that’s the make up of any side.
The other exciting bit about this is we have individuals who at the moment are not focusing on them individually. The focus is on the team. I think when you have players who have played over 120 Test matches and being senior batsmen they know what to do. I am sure they will find form sooner than later.
On handling Mendis: There has been a lot of talk on Mendis and Murali and we will have to admit they are very good spinners. Mendis is not the easiest to play and difficult to read. A lot of people asked me about video analysis. We have seen everything that we can possibly see. When you are watching it in super slow and when you are out there facing a guy it is not the same. Every player prepared well for the second Test. And the big idea was to play positive cricket and it worked.