Klusener warns of great di­vide in Test cricket

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

phase.

Look­ing back at the match, Klusener said, “It was nice to be in­volved in a game like that; we could have been more pa­tient but I could have also had my stumps knocked over the next ball.

“I feel we didn’t play well in the build-up to that game. We lost to Zim­babwe and had to play Aus­tralia twice.

“We could have had an eas­ier route to the fi­nal. The loss to Zim­babwe re­ally hurt us. Also, we should have bat­ted bet­ter in the tour­na­ment with the kind of tal­ent we had.”

Ever since that game, the tag of ‘chok­ers’ has been as­so­ci­ated with the South African team, and ac­cord­ing to Klusener, the tag will stay un­til South Africa wins an ICC tour­na­ment.

“We have un­der­achieved in ICC tour­na­ments. We are too des­per­ate to win some­thing and have for­got­ten about the en­joy­ment fac­tor. We should play with a lot more free­dom,” he said.

Klusener was also one of the coolest crick­eters known to han­dle the pres­sures very well.

“Han­dling pres­sure is a lot about prepa­ra­tion. You have to make sure that you are well pre­pared for what you are go­ing to face on the day.

You have to be ready to face the crowds and even­tu­ally you will have to bowl a tough over, but if you are well pre­pared from the skills point of view then you will be a bit more re­laxed,” he said.

Cur­rently Klusener is as­so­ci­ated with the Zim­babwe cricket team as its bat­ting coach.

Talk­ing of the strug­gles faced by Zim­babwe cricket, Klusener said: “The team needs to play more cricket.

“The two Test matches against New Zealand were our first in two years. It’s very tough to im­prove if you play two games in two years. We need to play more in­ter­na­tional cricket even if it is against teams like Bangladesh, Ire­land, Scot­land and Afghanistan.”

He was also wor­ried about the Test cricket be­tween the top teams and other teams.

“The gap be­tween the top four-five teams and other teams is in­creas­ing too much. It is even­tu­ally go­ing to come to a point where the top teams will refuse to play the bot­tom teams,” the South African said.

Talk­ing about the changes in Test cricket, es­pe­cially the in­tro­duc­tion of pink ball cricket, Klusener did not sound too op­ti­mistic.

“I know the main ob­jec­tive of this is to get the crowds back to the game, but the con­di­tion changes too much from day time to night time. For ex­am­ple, be­cause of dew the spin fac­tor gets negated.

“Also with the cool con­di­tions, the pitch won’t wear and change as much. Pink ball cricket has its chal­lenges but it is worth ex­plor­ing.

I would cer­tainly love to see more crowds at Test matches,” he said. — Sports Live

For­mer all-rounder from South Africa, Lance Klusener

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