Pandya a great asset: Lance Klusener

In a short span of time in international cricket, Pandya has established himself as a regular in the team.

Cape Town: Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener says Hardik Pandya has the makings of a fantastic all-round asset for India.

Pandya had scored 93 off 95 balls and took 2/27 in the Proteas’ second innings to single-handedly keep India in contention on day two of the first Test here.

“I thought his knock in India’s first innings was fantastic. His batting was excellent in the way he reversed pressure and put it back on South Africa. He is going to be fantastic for India. He is still developing and I think if he could add another yard of pace to his bowling, he would become a truly amazing all-rounder,” Klusener said.

In a short span of time in international cricket, Pandya has established himself as a regular in the team. His record in limited-overs cricket has been excellent with both the bat and the ball. In Tests, he now has a century and two fifties.

“All the signs are there that he is developing into a fantastic all-round prospect. Sure, he is bound to fail a few times the way he plays, but it is better to encourage that positive approach than reel him in.

“So, he is in good company, whether he plays for Mumbai Indians in IPL or in this Indian team, he is surrounded by a lot of good people. It is their responsibility to nurture him,” he added.

The all-rounder’s heroics though couldn’t save India from a disappointing loss at Newlands. Despite triggering a South African collapse in the second innings, the visitors failed to chase down a paltry 208-run target.

It is to be noted that India opted out of the solitary practice game before this Test series. Klusener didn’t agree with this approach.

“Look, it is always good to have a practice game under your belt. If India were touring in the sub-continent, then it wouldn’t be the end-of-the-world if they didn’t play a practice game before the tour. But for them to come to South Africa, it would have been nice for them to have the practice game in foreign conditions.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and South Africa were touring India, they would have played at least one practice game to get used to sub-continental conditions,” he said.

He said there were lessons to be learnt from the defeat in the series opener.

“India can take a lot of learning from that first Test loss. It could have been a lot worse to be honest if Pandya didn’t play that excellent knock and scored those 90-odd runs. I think that is a learning point for India in how they can turn this around. They need to be pro-active,” said the South African.

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