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Coach has a lot more work to do than the captain in T20 - Gary Kirstsen

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https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/103925/coach-has-a-lot-more-work-to-do-than-the-captain-in-t20-gary-kirstsen

 

There may be no fixed formula, but what comprises a successful T20/IPL team, not just in terms of winning the title but also the journey?

 

 

The one word that stands out for me is consistency. Performance is the end result. How are you going to create consistency in performance? When you look at teams with a high-level of performance in the IPL, they give us great examples of what they are doing and we can say we are learning from that. I think the high-octane, energy and intensity around the IPL, and the pressure to get those two points can put pressure on people. Everyone reacts to pressure. If we can put in place a system where we can create consistency - team selection, consistency with players that we recruit into the franchise - that will be one big step in helping the situation. But you have to take some pain along the way because if you are not getting the result that you are looking for, the easiest thing is to go into crisis management. You start changing and chopping and when you do that the players are on a slippery slope.

 

 

If you were to compare your stints with the Indian team and RCB, were expectations similar?

 

 

What I enjoy about coaching is working out what the environment requires. When I joined the Indian team, we didn't know anyone. They were looking for a coach to fit that environment. The same applies for any team - what are the leadership qualities, and where do you fit in it. It requires time. How can I get the best out of players - it is as simple as that.

 

 

My coaching philosophies will not always work - I'm comfortable with it. I'm hopeful that in some environments, they do work. I've had failure and success in my coaching career. We reached the final with the Hurricanes, and we finished last with Delhi - both ends of the spectrum. One thing you know for certain as a coach - you either have been fired, or you're about to be fired. Hopefully more times than not, you will get it right rather than wrong.

 

 

You've been coaching for a little over a decade now, what keeps you going?

 

 

I'm not sure. Maybe I am mad. I love India, I love the IPL and I have been in three IPLs, and every year you learn more. It is a fantastic tournament, I love coming back to India. I come six-seven times a year. I love coaching. I have enjoyed T20 cricket from a coaching perspective as you do a lot as a coach. It is a busy job. Head coach of a Test team, everything unfolds over a long period of time and I have found it tough for five days. Three hours works quite well.

 

 

Like the earpiece, Hansie Cronje and Bob Woolmer indulged in during the World Cup in 1999?

 

 

That was way back in the 1990s, that was a trail-blazing idea. I think it would be a nice touch, a nice add-on to the game. Two batsmen in the middle of the 18th over, needing 11 an over. It will be nice if you have a piece of information, you just talk into that earphone and you can say 'Maybe play the over this way or this is what to expect from this bowler'.

 

 

It will be quite nice, it's a nice add-on.

 

 

We as coaches would like that, but I don't think it is going to happen. We are still going to get the 12th man to run on to the field with gloves.

 

 

What are the demands on the coach in T20 cricket?

 

 

The coach is not more relevant than the captain, but there is equal responsibility. I'm excited by the way that has been created in T20 cricket because I think it takes a lot of pressure off the captain. Especially in domestic and franchise cricket. As for the demands, you have got to manage the demands that are placed on you. If you enjoy your work, you are going to do it. It's not an issue. I enjoy the pressures that come with it. Ultimately, all you are doing as one of the leaders of the team is doing everything you can to help those players perform on the field. We have a lot of fun time as well.

 

 

The relevance of a coach in T20 ...

 

 

Man-management is everything to me. It is the most important job in coaching, the next would probably be, team strategy, how you want to play. Cricket coaching has shifted significantly, there has been this kind of traditional view that the captain is the main guy and he runs the ship and he makes all the decisions. In T20 cricket he is not making all the decisions. Yes, he makes a lot of them and he goes on to the field, but he goes on to the field with a plan. There are a lot of discussions that are taking place around selections, the teams, recruitment for the season, around opposition that we are playing against and how we want to play against them, what players we want to use against them in certain conditions.

 

 

Working with support staff, preparing the team, rotating your squad. The coach has got a lot more work to do than the captain. But it is all off the field. When the captain walks on to the field, he has a plan. This is how you are going to play in this game, you got to make it happen. If you take any sport around the world, you will see that the manager or the coach plays a very significant role and T20 cricket is doing that now, more and more.

 

 

A coach is much more relevant than maybe in a Test match.

 

 

How do you inculcate team culture in an eight-week tournament like the IPL?

 

 

After they're done here, players return to their national sides whose colours they wear for the rest of the year...

 

 

That's the big challenge for us all. IPL has had 10 years now, the most successful IPL teams, you must ask them that question. What are the things that are allowing them to have more success than other teams? They could probably articulate it quite well, they could say these are the things that happen. I think every team is trying to create that. We will look at the things that have been good for us at RCB in the past, and we will hold on to those things and then we will create some new behaviour, we will create a new language that allows us to go from where we are now to get there because we want to be that team.

 

 

Every team is aspiring to win the IPL, obviously. But it is what can we bring in that shifts us to that. For any leader in an organisation or a group of people, that is the responsibility. What are those new behaviours you want to bring into the group that allows them to go from there to there. What are the things that have allowed you to get there, because you might have been there. That's how you build culture, but as you say, you have got eight weeks to do it, it's not easy. But it is possible, because you have got a 10-year history.

 

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