South Africa vs India 2018: Hardik Pandya gives India the edge, says Lance Klusener
What’s the story?
The creaking game of musical chair which India have played with all-rounders over the years found its newest entrant when a certain Hardik Pandya burst onto the scene.
The Baroda all-rounder has done his reputation no harm over the past 12 months in all the three months and as the Indian team prepares for the South African challenge, Pandya might well be the x-factor in Kohli's corner.
Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener too believes that Pandya will be a key player in India's scheme of things.
“An all-rounder of the quality of Pandya gives India the edge both with the bat and ball. He is an exciting talent who provides balance to the Indian unit. Pandya -a medium-pacer who comes to bat lower down the order – provides skipper Virat Kohli with a lot of options with team combination,” Klusener was as quoted by Times of India.
However, the former all-rounder advised Pandya to withstand the initial burst of short-pitched bowling thrown at him by the Protea bowling, following which he can be a real threat.
Klusener, who is currently working with Zimbabwe as the batting coach, also said that the form of captain Kohli will be extremely crucial for India.
The southpaw also said that both sides are well-balanced but the South African pace attack gives the hosts advantage since the bowlers are well versed with the home conditions and will test the Indian batting.
In case you didn’t know…
The first Test between India and South Africa begins at Newlands on January 5 and the number one Test team in the world is bound to be tested by the hosts.
Newlands has not received much rain over the last month and this would have an effect on the pitch which is renowned for pace, bounce and seam movement.
Hence, the drier strip could even things out for the visitors, and this could also present them with a chance to draw first blood.
There is little doubt over the role of Hardik Pandya and the balance he renders to the Indian side, especially in seaming conditions and hence the assessment made by Klusener is spot on as an in-form Pandya will encourage Kohli to go in with six batsmen and four bowlers.