Lance Klusener: I would love to have batted alongside MS Dhoni

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Lance Klusener: I would love to have batted alongside MS Dhoni

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Arun S Kaimal

06/18/2016

Former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener has expressed his admiration for MS Dhoni and said that he would love to have batted with the wicketkeeper-batsman. Klusener, who is Zimbabwe's batting coach, also talked about the role of the finisher and praised India’s Test captain Virat Kohli.

Klusener, who is regarded as one of the finest all-rounders of the game, is currently working as a batting coach with Zimbabwe alongside his former teammate Makhaya Ntini. Speaking to bcci.tv on the sidelines of India’s tour to the African nation, the South African showered praise on Indian limited-overs team captain MS Dhoni and said that the Indian is a better finisher than himself.

“I think similarities really for me are the way he gets in; he takes his time. I like to use that and that’s kind of where it ends. He is way better than I was as a finisher. I always like to sit and watch how he plays. Often sit back and think, he is someone I would love to have batted with, I would not have had too much work to do. In my dreams, I would love to have, one day, an opportunity to bat with him.

“What I really like is the fact that he gives himself an opportunity to get in and in a poor situation, he makes sure that he is there at the last over. Who knows, he can get 15 from a poor situation and he does it so well and more often than not, when you transfer the pressure to the bowlers, that’s when you get the bad balls,” Klusener told bcci.tv.

Klusener, who is also known for his finishing skills, talked about the role of the finisher and said that the finishers need to be given time before they can flourish.

“I think that is a kind of role that evolves, you have to prove to yourself that you can do it, then it grows on to the teammates. And as soon as everyone believes that well if there is anyone with a half a chance to get us over the line, then we are going to send you. The important thing, therefore, is me is to be given enough time to get yourself in. This guy is a finisher, then send him in the last five overs, when the team needs 15 runs per over, that’s not the point. The point is getting these guys in early.

“A guy like MS does this brilliantly in one-day cricket. If he can be in by the 35th over, it gives him enough time to get in, get a feel of the bowlers and win the game at the end. That for me is important. Going back to your question, once the team, the captain, and the team management realise that this guy can do this in a regular basis, is to get me in. I used to, it didn’t matter how many wickets had fallen. I used to try to get to the crease by the 35th over. People say they are finishers, but they also need time to get in,” the South African said.

When asked about Indian Test captain Virat Kohli, Klusener described him as a phenomenal player and said that he has stepped into the shoes of Sachin Tendulkar for India.

“I think what he does so well is that he can score around the wicket and that makes it tough. From an opposing captain, to him setting the field is difficult. But, he is extremely talented. India saw the end of Sachin Tendulkar and people always sat back and said we are going to miss the guy. Of course, we are missing him, he was a great legend of the game. But, Virat has step into those shoes.

“A guy that is cool, calm, calculated. He is passionate about the game. He always plays so well in the middle period, there is nothing for him to do at the death. Us, mere mortals, will leave a lot to the death and say we tried our best. He is just phenomenal. To see him in the IPL batting with AB (de Villiers), you know, that’s what dreams are made of. Virat is a fantastic player. When he is in there, the opposing team is always under pressure,” said the 44-year-old before signing off.  

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