"Ben Stokes Fair Bit Ahead Of Hardik Pandya": Lance Klusener To NDTV
In an interview with NDTV on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket, former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener spoke about the battle between Ben Stokes and Hardik Pandya, the captaincy styles of Virat Kohli and Rohit, South Africa's chances at the T20 World Cup and much more.
Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener had a knack for changing the complexion of the game with both the bat and ball in hand, and the Proteas could never be counted out till the time Klusener was not out of the action. So, it is only fair to ask him, what he makes of two modern-day great all-rounders -- Ben Stokes and Hardik Pandya. Speaking to NDTV on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket, Klusener spoke about the battle between Ben Stokes and Hardik Pandya, the captaincy styles of Virat Kohli and Rohit, South Africa's chances at the T20 World Cup, and much more.
"I think Ben Stokes is a fair bit ahead of Hardik Pandya you know," Klusener told NDTV.
"But I think the way Hardik has come along, is fantastic. I think, you know, the improvement for him would be to consistently get more overs out of himself," he said.
"If he is consistently bowling his full quota of four overs in white-ball cricket, that will be good. His batting is fantastic, but that is why the edge is with Ben Stokes for me right now. Hardik has got the potential to improve every day and he is doing that," he added.
Last year, Virat Kohli stepped down as T20I captain, and then he was removed as the ODI captain. Then he also left the Test captaincy and now it is Rohit Sharma who is at the helm of all formats for India.
Talking about Rohit and Virat's captaincy, Klusener said: "Look, I have never played against Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma. I think just watching from the outside, is not quite how it is actually happening. I have got great respect for both of them, they have both achieved a lot as captains. I like Virat as a captain, I like his energy, power, and passion that we see on the field."
"I like that in him, whether it is just the captaincy that brings it out in him, I don't know but either way, if I was an Indian supporter, I would not be too worried about who was actually the captain. I guess the focus is, as long as they both keep performing, I think India are in a good place," he stated further.
Rahul Dravid, before becoming the head coach of the senior side, was in-charge of India A and U-19 teams. He also headed the National Cricket Academy. Klusener believes that it is great to see Dravid coming through the coaching ranks, however, he also said that it is not the only way of going about coaching.
"I think it is nice but I don't think it is the only way to go about things. The fact that you said that Rahul has been busy in the build-up in Indian academies. It is great as he has the knowledge of players coming through the ranks but I do not think it is the only way of coaching. The most important thing for me is to get somebody who can get performance out of the players," said Klusener.
Klusener also picked Australia and South Africa as the two teams who he thinks would play the T20 World Cup final. He also spoke about Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma going unsold in the auction for South Africa's T20 league.
"South Africa are always going to up there in big competitions. Yes, they have not gotten over the line for whatever reason and people are not going to be satisfied till the time South Africa gets over the line. They have as good a chance as anybody, especially in a place like Australia where it might suit teams that can deal with pace and bounce. Hopefully, we can see them get over the line this time around," said Klusener.
"Australia have got quite a handful set of players. I think they will be one. I have to go for South Africa as the other finalist because we have not played a World Cup final, so why not? You summed it up well that South Africa have been playing well, they put England away. They have come in from a place where wickets are possibly similar. They have got as good of a chance as anybody else," he added.
Talking about Bavuma going unsold in the auction, Klusener said: "He was not the only one who went unsold in the auction. Hopefully, that in itself might trigger learning, improvement, and a better strike rate, or whatever it is. You also need to remember that Temba has been injured for three months and you never want to be injured three months going into an auction."
"You want to be somebody who has scored a century a week heading into the auction. So that also, is something, kind of counted against him. Temba is a good player, he will get sold for future editions, there is no question about that. There were few factors that counted against him, but he is a very good player," he added.
Lastly, talking about playing the Legends League, the former Proteas all-rounder said: "Definitely, I think coming to India was a great idea. The concept for us as players and past players, getting that opportunity to play with players that we have not done in particular before, I think it gives the fans the opportunity to see players in action, who they have not had the opportunity to see before. If you did not get the opportunity to see players like me before, then you get that here."