Former India coach Gary Kirsten feels that it is premature to write India off from contention in the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand despite their recent show in Australia.
Gary Kirsten. Pic/Atul Kamble
Having coached India to victory in the 2011 edition, Kirsten acknowledges India's strength and their past performances that have been excellent in big tournaments like the World Cup especially during the knockout stages.
Kirsten hailed Indian captain MS Dhoni as the best when it came to rising up to the occasion. "In the 2011 final, Dhoni came up to me and requested if he could bat before Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni's credibility and past records should not be written off just because the captain's contribution to the team's performance has not been credible in the past few tournaments.
Dhoni's self belief to perform in high pressure situations and willingness to take on the consequences for the team's performance — good or bad — is spine-chilling," said the former South African cricketer.
Jadeja, the key
According to Kirsten, Ravindra Jadeja's contribution with both bat and ball could prove to be instrumental in India's success Down Under.
"All in all, I believe that performing and operating in the chaos of the World Cup is difficult. However, the best in the current Indian team is yet to be seen by the world. India are one of the favourites, but I hope they finish second after South Africa," he said with a smile.