Klusener warns of great divide in Test cricket
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