Ex-South African cricketer Lance Klusener has expressed his concern for Team India while backing former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is averaging over 51 in the 50-over format – to continue his limited-overs stint, as former believes the latter has a lot of time left in the white-ball cricket, to prove his mettle after going through a lean patch.
“It’s always easy to call for somebody’s stepping down. He [Dhoni] still has got a lot to offer,” Klusener was quoted as saying by ToI.
Moreover, critics want the 36-year-old Ranchi-born Dhoni to be removed from the setup, as they believe a youngster could be groomed for the 2019 World Cup while replacing the vanguard of modern-day cricket, who has further appeared in 296 One-day Internationals and 77 Twenty Internationals.
The wicket-keeper batsman Dhoni has announced his Test retirement in 2014 after playing 90 Tests while averaging 38.09.
The 45-year-old Klusener, who during his playing days was one of the prominent faces for the Proteas set-up, revealed it’s too easy to point fingers after downhill slide of a player. The Durban-born, who had also worked as a coach with Zimbabwe, further posed a question in the set-up whether India has the fine prospect waiting in the wings to do better in the limited format.
“Is that person going to be better than Dhoni straightaway?,” Klusener added.
Interestingly, Klusener, who enjoyed his stint as a mentor in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) for its franchise Lyca Kovai Kings, for the second year, reiterated it’s a challenge to opt for the replacements straight away.
Kings are currently placed sixth in the TNPL, as Klusener is eyeing to make it for another round which looks highly improbable in the ongoing Twenty20 domestic competition.
While praising the efforts of Dhoni, both as a skipper and batsman, Klusener stated he has been very impressed with his dynamic leadership to lead India in the crunch moments of the game owing to the quality finishes particularly in the limited-overs cricket.
“He is one of the best finishers to ever play the game,” Klusener maintained.
Klusener asserted the quality side like India could be termed as imprudent if Dhoni would be forced to retire from the international cricket.
“Why would you want to get rid of him? I think India would be foolish to do so,” Klusener concluded.
It’s pertinent to mention Klusener also expressed his dissatisfaction over the recent drubbing of his national side by 3-1 in England, before talking about the different challenges as a coach and to give his career a new high in the foreseeable future.
After making his debut in 1996 against England, Klusener scored 3,576 runs in 137 innings of 171 ODIs, as he also featured in 49 Test to register 1,906 runs. The handy all-rounder bagged 192 wickets in the white-ball cricket and 80 in the five-day format.