Hardik Pandya is one of the best pace-ballers in world cricket: Lance Klusener

Tormented by injuries, Pandya, who last played in Tests for India in September 2018, has limited himself to playing white-ball cricket and has ruled himself out of the upcoming World Cup final against Australia.

He (Pandya) is a fantastic cricketer and if he can stay fit and continue to bowl at 135+ km/h, he will always challenge … as one of the best allrounder in the world, Klusener told reporters during a media interaction at the Kolkata Sports Journalists Club.

Pandya ruled himself out, saying it would be unethical to take someone else’s place without contributing even one percent to India reaching the WTC finals.

When asked if Pandya gave up test cricket too easily, Klusener replied: Yes, probably. Test cricket (is) always the pinnacle of testing where you are as a cricketer and testing yourself.

Test cricket hasn’t changed much since long ago, but I also realize that time moves on.

Allrounders in pace bowling are not dibble-dobblers

Klusener went on to say that an allrounder in pace bowling is not a dibble-dobbler, but someone who can consistently hit 135 kph.

Bowling allrounder should play at 135+. I don’t think there will be any dibble-dobblers that we are used to seeing in England, I don’t think allrounder is (already) effective.

I truly believe that a guy like Ben Stokes, who hits 135+ – people like that are still worth their weight in gold in any form of the game, said Klusener, a member of the 1999 ODI World Cup team that lost to heartbreak in the semifinals to Australia.

But managing three formats in the modern era has contributed to the decline of allrounders of fast bowling. However, Klusener believes their time will still come.

I always think it happens in cycles. When I was playing, there were a lot of allrounders with fast bowling…then we kind of saw allrounders playing spin.

Of course, I don’t see that many allrounders with fast bowling these days, I just think it’s a cycle. Maybe in the next five years we’ll see cricketers like that again. If we get the workload right, there will be plenty of cricket, there will still be a place for them on any team.

Klusener believes India are well equipped to play pace or spin, and in the WTC final against Australia, which begins at the Oval 7June, they will play depending on the course.

Spin has traditionally been India’s strong suit. They have an attack that can play on any surface, he said, when asked if India should opt for two spinners or one pacesetting allrounder in Shardul Thakur.

The way the Indian seamers have evolved in the last couple of years is the reason why they play in consecutive WTC finals, that’s why they are one of the best Test teams in the world.

In the past, teams prepared green tops so India couldn’t compete, but that’s not the case now. I think they are well equipped now, regardless of the conditions, they will be able to pick a team that will be competitive.

India’s battle against bowling Australia in the WTC finals

When asked which team is the favorite to win the WTC finals, he said: It’s a tough choice. The battle will be between the bowlers of Australia and the batters of India and whichever team wins that battle will come out on top, he said.

Clousener also praised his compatriot Faf du Plessis, who has had another prolific IPL season, finishing second on the scoring list behind Shubman Gill.

Just hats off to Faf for staying fit and hungry, contributing to the best T20 competition in the world (for RCB).

He is now going to Big Bash (League)…playing as much as he can. It’s phenomenal that at this age he has fire inside, we have to respect that, Klusener said.

Du Plessis declined Test cricket after breaking off his relationship with coach Mark Boucher.Klusener believes it had to do with managing his workload.

Cricket has reached a point where you have other opportunities in front of you. When you come of age, you get opportunities that pay better or are easier on your body, allow you to spend more time at home.

IPL cricketer mission from Tripura

Klusener, 51, has been introduced as Tripura’s consultant coach for the upcoming domestic season.

In his first official interaction with the press since taking over, Klusener said their mission would be successful if they could bring up one IPL or India cricketer from the northeastern state.

I want to leave a lasting impression. I like taking on challenges. If I can inspire oneof an individual to get into the IPL or the national team, it will be a success, said Klusener, who has worked with Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and several other franchises as a coach.Under the contract, Klusener will spend a total of 100 days as coach of Tripura, providing his knowledge and experience for age groups, women’s teams and Ranji Trophy cricket.

We have a coaching staff in all departments. He will oversee their work and provide valuable input, said TCA vice president Timir Chanda.

Chanda also said they have retained veteran Indian wicketkeeper Vriddhiman Saha for the upcoming season.Saha has joined Tripura as a mentor and cricketer after splitting from the Bengal Cricket Association.

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