Former South Africa cricketer Lance Klusener reckoned that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya didn't put enough effort to make a comeback in Test cricket.
Pandya hasn't been in India's red-ball squad for more than four years. His last appearance in the traditional format of cricket came in September 2018 in the Southampton Test against England.
Pandya's career was plagued by injuries between 2018 and 2021. The Indian all-rounder limited his international career to white-ball cricket in order to manage the workload.
In March, he ruled himself out for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, stating that he hasn't done enough to deserve a place in the squad.
Lance Klusener, who was recently appointed consultant of Tripura, interacted with reporters at the Calcutta Sports Journalist's Club (Kolkata). On being asked whether Pandya did not persist to play Test cricket and gave up on the old format easily, Klusener replied:
"Yes, possibly. Test cricket (is) always the pinnacle of testing where you are as a cricketer, and testing yourselves. Test cricket hasn't really changed much from way back but I also understand that times have moved on as well."
"He (Pandya) is a fantastic cricketer, and if he can stay fit and continues to bowl 135+ kmph, he will always be challenging... as one of the best all-rounders in the world.
"Fast bowling all-rounders need to be bowling 135+" - Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener opined that fast bowling all-rounders in Test cricket should be able to clock more than 135kph speed. The former South African all-rounder noted the example of England all-rounder Ben Stokes and said:
"Fast bowling all-rounders need to be bowling 135+. I don't think there would be some dibbly-dobblers that we used to see in England, I don't think all that (is) effective anymore.
"I honestly believe that a guy like Ben Stokes who bowls 135+, those people are still gold in any form of the game."
Stokes became the first captain to win a Test match without batting, bowling, or keeping wickets in England's emphatic 10-wicket victory against Ireland at Lord's on Saturday, June 3.