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“Don’t Try To Do Something That…”: Coach Jason Gillespie’s Message To Pakistan Cricket Team

Pakistan’s new head coach Jason Gillespie Jason Gillespie wants his “gifted” players to stay “authentic” and not alter their game style to suit a specific method, saying they just need to stay positive and aggressive to go through the grind of Test cricket. Pakistan on Sunday appointed former Australia pace bowler Gillespie as coach of the men’s Test side and also roped in former South Africa batter Gary Kirsten, who guided India to ODI World title in 2011, for guidance in white-ball format. The 49-year-old Gillespie, who coached Yorkshire to the County Championship title in 2014 and 2015, has signed a two-year contract. “I simply want the Pakistan cricket team to play the style of cricket that’s going to suit them; for me, that’s important. My philosophy is – don’t try to be something that you’re not!” Gillespie was quoted as saying in a Pakistan Cricket Board podcast.

“You’ve got to be authentic in how you go about it. I will go out there and say: just be positive, aggressive, entertaining. Play with a smile on your faces and entertain our fans.

“There are going to be times when you have to grind it out, and that’s what Test cricket is. It’s a test of your skills, mental capacity, and patience. There are times to attack and times to soak up some periods of cricket from the opposition,” he said.

Gillespie, who represented Australia in 71 Tests and 97 ODIs, picking up 259 and 142 wickets respectively, said Pakistan boast of skillful players but consistency is something which they need to work upon.

“If we can be as consistent as we can, then hopefully, the scoreboard will look after itself, and we can pick up some wins. Watching Pakistan play from afar, I know they are very gifted and skillful players.

“But sometimes, you also hear the commentators talk about their inconsistencies, how Pakistan can be more consistent and stay in the games longer. I’ll be speaking to the players about this as the players need to decide how they want to see themselves and how we can make that happen.

“I see talented and exciting players from a batting point of view. A lot of them are very good stroke-makers, very technically proficient players.

“You’ve got fast bowlers who run in and bowl quick and swing the ball. You’ve got spinners who spin the ball hard. For me, it’s pretty exciting to have a Test squad that has all these resources,” he added.

Gillespie knows the challenges and expectations that comes with it.

“The opportunity to be the head coach of Pakistan’s Test side is fantastic. It’s an honour. I’ve been coaching for quite a while now in various roles around the world, but one thing I haven’t done is to coach an international Test side. When this opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it.

“Hopefully, I can help the team progress, improve, and play some entertaining cricket. Coaching Pakistan is an exciting job opportunity. I mean, the talent is there, and there are a lot of very skillful cricketers. But there’s been some inconsistency at times too. I think I can help in some way to give clarity to the team on how it goes about playing Test cricket.” Gillespie will also have additional responsibility of playing the role of a selector.

“I’m excited about being part of the selection committee. In my whole coaching career, I have had a role as a selector. It all comes down to clarity and communication. I’m looking forward to working with everyone on the selection panel as well as the captain. I feel good and will forge a strong bond, strong relationship, and go from there.” Gillespie hopes to make an impact during his stint with Pakistan cricket.

“What I do know is that you’ll see in my time with Pakistan that I’ll be very transparent and very open. The team will be going out there and playing the way we want to play. I want to give the players a lot of ownership of the team and how they go about it. We will play as a team and have fun.

“I just hope in my time with Pakistan, we’ll give it our best shot. We’re certainly not here just to compete; we’re here to win. And I’ll be doing my best to try and help facilitate that,” he concluded.

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