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  5. Pakistan's white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten aims to 'take pressure off' Babar Azam

Pakistan's white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten aims to 'take pressure off' Babar Azam

Gary Kirsten has been appointed as the white-ball head coach of Pakistan for a two-year stint. The former South African international is currently busy with his IPL commitment with Gujarat Titans (GT).

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: May 17, 2024 12:32 IST
Babar Azam
Image Source : AP Babar Azam.

Pakistan's newly appointed white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten wants to take the burden of taking the team over the line from the shoulders of Babar Azam.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Kirsten mentioned that there is a need to create an environment within the group so that Babar can play as freely as he did during his 75-run knock against Ireland at Castle Avenue in Dublin in the T20I series decider.

"(The dependence on Babar) It is not fair on any player. He shouldn't feel like he has to be contributing all the time to a team. I've been in touch with Babar. He's done remarkably well and carries a lot of the weight of the team on his shoulders. What we will try to do as a coaching staff is to lift that a little bit and to realise he's just one of a whole group of players and that he can free himself up to play with his natural talent," Kirsten said.

"Hopefully we see a lot more of that (Babar's knock against Ireland in the third T20I) kind of knock from him. I think if we can unlock that freedom, and understand that there's a big group of guys that can make match-winning contributions, especially in T20 cricket, that'll take a lot of pressure off him."

Kirsten also opened up on how he was approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the coaching role and why he chose to sign up for the same.

"I got a phone call while I was at the IPL and, they asked whether I was interested. I'm always interested in an international job. It's always just a massive privilege to be coaching in that space. I haven't done an international job since coaching South Africa towards the end of 2013. My kids are a little bit older now, which makes it slightly easier to travel, and to work with an international team of the likes of Pakistan was very appealing to me."

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