We are ready to negotiate every challenge: Kirsten

Gary Kirsten is not unduly worried about the seaming pitches in New Zealand and said that his team was well prepared to adapt to the situations.

updated: February 22, 2009 16:41 IST
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India's coach Gary Kirsten is not unduly worried about the seaming pitches in New Zealand and said that his team was well prepared to adapt to the situations that they may encounter during the tour.

Kirsten said that India had a plan in place for every challenge which they could face during the 47-day tour and it was just the question of doing the planing and basics right.

"We are aware of what to expect and are planning for that. Every wicket around the world might well be different. You are not going to find two wickets that are exactly the same.

"So we are not really focusing on the wickets. But we are doing the work we need to do. We are looking to adapt to the situations that we are confronted with. The team is well-balanced and our seamers have done particularly well in the last year," Kirsten told reporters on Sunday.

"Everyone's talking a lot about the wickets, but the wickets I saw in the games against West Indies seemed to play really well. It is not something that will concern us too much," he added.

The former South Africa opening batsman chose to downplay India's miserable show during the previous tour in 2002-03 saying, "The last tour here was six-seven years ago. We don't focus on the past. We are focusing on the future and the tour that we are on. In our team meetings we are certainly not talking about what happened here six years ago." Kirsten attributed India's improved show to formulation of proper strategy followed by its implementation.

"We played 17 games of cricket since September last year and lost one. So we are happy with the way the performances have gone. But this team doesn't focus on performances. We focus on what we need to do on a daily basis. If we plan well enough, we will give ourselves the best chance of winning. But we know this game and that anything can happen out in the middle," he said.

"The balance is good. But the game of cricket is designed such that any time you can have a bad hour or bad couple of hours. We are very humble around that fact and just make sure that we do what we need to do. We know we need to do certain things to set ourselves up to win a game of cricket.

"We spend a lot of time on game awareness, strategy and how we are going to set up a win. You don't just walk out onto the park and just because you have a good side on paper win a game of cricket. Someone's got to work hard out there. Everyone wants to be a game breaker and make a contribution. It is very satisfying to see this attitude in the players," Kirsten added.

However, the 41-year-old coach knows that the journey against the Kiwis are going to be a tough one and insisted there is no question of taking the Kiwis lightly as New Zealand is always a tough side to beat in home.

"We know what they are capable of. They are a resilient team and in my experience they play very well at home. They will be a formidable opposition and well prepared. We won't be taking them lightly.

"But at the same time we know that if we stick to our processes well and do what we need to in terms of planning and preparation, and then execute them, we can be a difficult side to beat," Kirsten said.

"You have to go out there and do the business. We had a four-and-a-half hour session yesterday and another four-hour session today. We focus a lot is to make sure the guys are learning very quickly what they need to do. It might be a bit slow in match play but the seniors are passing on whatever information they can and we are doing our bit," he added.

On the preparation of the tour, Kirsten again emphasised on the importance of adapting to the condition and said: "We practiced with all the bowlers into the wind. What we have said is that every bowler is going to have to do the hard yards at some stage.

"It is not going to be easy but we are prepared for that. We don't operate as a bunch of individuals. We are very much focused on what we can do as a team. We know that someone's going to have to step up to the plate and do something that is not easy to do.

"It's really just adapting to the situation. The ball holds in the wind a little bit and from a batting perspective you feel like you need to hold your shape for a bit longer. And bowling with the wind you know that the ball is going to get to you a bit quicker and you prepare for that.