Lance Klusener is one of the finest all-rounders of South Africa. He was known for his aggressive batting and fast-medium swing bowling. Since his retirement from international cricket, the legendary South African cricketer is busy with coaching. He has been appointed the coach of the Zimbabwe cricket team and right now he is busy with his boys in Dubai, preparing for the upcoming series against Afghanistan. From his busy schedule, he gave time to CricketSoccer.com to speak about the recently concluded India-South Africa test series.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): Indian team don’t have a great record in South Africa. This time too they lost the test series. But have you found anything special in this Virat Kohli led team?
Lance Klusener (LK): I think there is a nice balance in the Indian team. Both batting and bowling attack has good variation. The challenge was for India to be ready for dealing with South Africa’s pace from the very first test because they are not so strong against quality pace attack. But I must give credit to Virat and the Indian team for improving so fast against the pace. Now they have gained confidence which was reflected in the last test match at Johannesburg.
CS: Virat himself is considered to be one of the greats in modern day cricket along with AB de Villiers, Steve Smith and Joe Root. As he got success in South Africa this time, how would you rate him?
LK: Had Virat hit the ground running in the first test, maybe series result could have been different. He is a master batsman in the class of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. I have played both against Sachin and Lara and the way they batted and used to dominate the opposition, you must admire. I love to watch Virat bat because of the smartness he bats. He also dominates the opposition bowlers whenever gets into the rhythm just like Sachin and Lara. In this Test series, Virat has proven why he is considered to be one of the best in modern cricket.
CS: Dale Steyn missed the most part of the series. Still, his absence was not felt due to the excellent back up by other South Africa pacers. Your take.
LK: South Africa has always had good fast bowling resources and it’s nice to see that the fast bowling tradition of South Africa continues. Surfaces encourage fast bowling in South Africa. So children are encouraged to bowl fast from young. It’s very satisfying to see young faces like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi establishing themselves quickly.
CS: How would you rate the current Indian team pace attack?
LK: In brief, they are solid and there is nice variation too. I am quite impressed with the way Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled in this series. They have pace, they have swing. More significantly, the Indian bowlers have taken all 60 wickets in the three test matches. India should encourage and nurture this talent to be more successful and constant overseas.
CS: India is scheduled to play 2 more tough series in England and in Australia. How are you seeing their chances?
LK: If they can take the learning from the South Africa tour and hit the ground running, they have an excellent chance to be successful in the upcoming two series. I suppose they have gained self-belief and they know that they have the potential to do well outside the sub-continent.
CS: There was a lot of controversy regarding the condition of the wickets at Nagpur while South Africa toured India and now at Johannesburg. Do you support the idea of taking home advantage by preparing favorable pitch?
LK: I believe on both the occasions, the groundsmen just do the preparation wrong. My guess is South African team management would not have requested an up and down wicket. Grass with pace and bounce, yes I suppose that is what they have asked for. Up and down comes from poor preparation. But, the home sides should have a say in the type of pitch they require. I see no foul play in that.