Kirsten lands to meet Team India

Newly appointed Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten landed in New Delhi today for his first interaction with the players.

updated: December 08, 2007 12:13 IST
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Newly appointed Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten landed in New Delhi on Friday for his first interaction with the players, who are in the city to play the third and final Test against Pakistan.

The former South African opener, who accepted a two-year contract offered by the BCCI earlier this week, appeared relaxed as he landed at the Bangalore airport and was immediately mobbed by the waiting media as he stepped out.

"I have played a lot of cricket against India. Just want to see how they play here. We still have a lot of cricket ahead in the season," Kirsten told reporters.

Asked whether the purpose of his visit was to interact with the players, the 40-year-old former cricketer said "absolutely".

"I would like to meet the players and interact with them. It's there in my plans," he said.

Kirsten also said that he would formally take over the reins sometime during India's tour of Australia starting December 20, while cricket manager Lalchand Rajput, who guided India to the Twenty20 World Championship in September, will remain with the team.

On whether or not he has signed the contract, Kirsten said: "I have not signed anything yet."

"I know it's a very high profile job, but I am confident of delivering the goods after taking the in-puts from the present support staff, including bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, fielding coach Robin Singh and manager Rajput," he said.

On whether he was planning to bring in mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton as a part of the support staff, he said "nothing is confirmed yet. He has not signed anything, yet.

"Mental aspect is very important in sports today, many people do not understand that," he added.

A handful of cricket fans had also gathered at the airport to greet Kirsten with placards such as 'Welcome Mr Kirsten' and 'Welcome Gary'.

Kirsten is expected to remain in the city for a couple of days during which he will not only interact with the players but also have discussion with the support staff.

He will also seek inputs from Lalchand Rajput, who is currently the cricket manager and has been appointed assistant coach for the upcoming tour of Australia.

(With IANS inputs)