Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener reckons Hardik Pandya can be more consistent with the ball in limited-overs cricket to become more dependable for India. Klusener feels Pandya being consistent will ensure he gets to complete his full quota of overs in both T20 and 50-over cricket.
Pandya has become one of India's most prized assets in the white-ball format. In recent times, the 29-year-old has played a critical role with the ball, especially in India's T20 series win in England. His successful return from injury has balanced the Indian team and reduced the pressure on their bowlers.
Speaking to News 18, Lance Klusener remarked that Pandya should continue batting the way he does but must ensure more reliability with the ball. Klusener, who once played a similar role for the Proteas, feels that more consistency with the ball can confirm Pandya's status as one of the best all-rounders. He said:
"Look, I think Hardik is a fantastic player. I don’t have any reservations certainly with the bat and the way he plays is amazing. Possibly just squeezing out a little bit more performance with the ball a little bit more consistent performance, where he can be kind of penciled in for his quota of overs in all forms of white ball cricket.
"So, that can possibly be an area where if he nailed down and, you could get 10 overs out of him and you add that to where his batting is then he becomes one of the best or if not the best all-rounder in the world. So I guess that’s a small area of growth for him."
Pandya, who strikes at 148.49 in T20I cricket, will be key to India's chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. The Baroda-born all-rounder was also part of India's 2021 T20 World Cup squad but failed to live up to his potential.
"He is a fantastic cricketer from what I’ve seen of him" - Lance Klusener on Cameron Green
"Is it Cameron Green from Australia as well? He is a fantastic cricketer from what I’ve seen of him he has been absolutely incredible and he’s just a young man finding his way, so he’s right up there as well and in a very, very short space of time.
"Ben Stokes is probably only leading that because of his experience and he’s been doing it for quite a long time. You add Hardik Pandya into that mix as well. It makes three that I can just think of quickly who are right up there. All as good as each other on their day, I guess."
Lance Klusener recently stepped down as Zimbabwe's batting coach after taking up the post for a second stint in March.