The outgoing coach says India's World Cup win all boiled down to attitude.
Dhoni's men had a sense of destiny, says outgoing coach Kirsten
But after three years of coaching India, the former opening batsman felt the joy that had eluded him for so long.
On Saturday, MS Dhoni's men beat Sri Lanka in Mumbai. And, as Kirsten put it yesterday, it all boiled down to attitude.
"I felt we were going to do this thing [winning the World Cup]. And to the point the day before the final we knew were going to win," he told ESPNcricinfo.
"We actually even spoke about it. That we were going to win this thing. It [the issue] is how we prepare to deal with the success because we are going to win. There was never any doubt at that stage."
Kirsten, who holds the record for the highest individual score by a batsman at the World Cup - 188 not out against UAE in 1996 - also attributed his team's success to the fact that India had faced many close games before the final.
"The one thing what really worked for us in the tournament was that we got ourselves into tough situations in virtually every game," he said. "Even the games against Ireland and the Netherlands were tough. But I believe that really helped us. We were battle-hardened. We had no easy build up."
The left-hander singled out India's quarter-final victory over Australia, the defending champions, as the crucial game that spurred the team ahead of the semi-finals.
"For me, the key moment was the Australian game where we chased down 260, which was a tough ask. And from that moment I just got a real sense that within our unit that now we can actually believe that we can win this [World Cup] because we can confront any situation."
Kirsten also said he would look to spend time with family at home in South Africa despite coaching offers. "There is a lot on the table, you know. South Africa have approached me, and a couple of IPL [Indian Premier League] teams have approached me," he said.