Former Indian team coach Gary Kirsten said good team environment is key to achieving success, be it with the national team or in franchise cricket.
Kirsten who coached India to the 2011 ICC World Cup title is regarded to be a key person behind the victory that ended the country’s 28-year wait for the top prize, but the South Africa refused to take too much credit.
“A hugely talented group of cricketers with an inspirational captain (MS Dhoni), looking for a stable, secure and safe environment (was the key),” Kirsten told Sportstar explaining the reason behind the triumph.
India were under pressure to deliver the World Cup on home soil, but Kirsten revealed that it never bothered the team.
“There was plenty of external pressure but the internal dynamics of the team environment were calm and secure,” he said.
“We never panicked, regardless of how well or badly we played. The players believed in each other and we always knew someone would deliver for the team,” added the South African.
The 52-year-old took charge of a team full of superstars and the important task for him was to make them perform well as a unit. This shift in mindset was his biggest contribution as coach.
“We moved away from focusing on individual success and more around what we wanted to achieve as a team,” Kirsten said.
“This was a fundamental shift and forced us to look at how we behaved and operated as a group of people, every day. In short, we focused on anything that could make the team environment a great place to be, with lots of fun and enjoyment to go with it,” he added.
Kirsten has been one of the most sought after coaches in world cricket since and has coached the South African national team and various T20 franchises. He believes the short time frame in franchise cricket makes the job slightly harder for the coach.
“As a coach, your most precious commodity is, more time, to be able to influence the franchise and move to a new culture or way of doing things.” the 52-year-old said.
“In a national team, your most precious commodity is continuity and stability. The more stable and secure the environment for the players, the easier it is to affect meaningful change,” he added.