Having retired from top-flight cricket more than a decade ago, Lance Klusener has tried his hands at quite a few things. While Klusener has covered some tournaments as a commentator, including the 2011 World Cup, he has accepted coaching assignments in several T20 leagues as well.
In India, Klusener has mentored three-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians and TNPL franchise Kovai Kings. Recently, he was hired as Delhi’s domestic team consultant for the limited overs leg (Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq T20).
In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Lance Klusener opened up about his experience of coaching in India, saying: “For me, coaching in India is the ultimate. One of the things I like about India is the amount of talent that’s on offer and response from the players is fantastic. That’s why I say this is the best cricketing nation. So, when Rahul Sanghvi called me and offered this role, I couldn’t refuse it.”
Klusener, who represented South Africa in 49 Tests and 171 ODIs from 1996 to 2004, labelled the Indian Premier League as a “phenomenon”. However, he pointed out that there are other T20 leagues like the Big Bash in Australia and England’s T20 Blast that provide perfect platforms for the young players. Accordingly, he went on to say Indian youngsters will be benefitted if they are allowed to participate in T20 leagues abroad.
“I really think they are missing a trick by not allowing youngsters in India to travel and play in such tournaments. Because the exposure they are going to get there will be enormous,” Klusener remarked.
“Just imagine, you have a youngster with the experience of playing in the Big Bash, and when he gets picked to represent India in Australia, neither the conditions nor those big grounds will be alien to him,” he explained.
Talking about his current assignment, Klusener highlighted the similarities between Delhi’s batsmen and the Dolphins, a South African franchise he was in charge of till recently.
“These guys (Delhi) are reluctant to play the conventional sweep shot. Years back, even the Dolphins batters faced the same problem. But you could sympathise with them because they had not faced a lot of spinners back home,” Klusener stated.
“If you play the sweep shot, the captain will move a fielder to square-leg. This opens up the field and improves the batsmen’s chances of scoring in other areas,” he concluded.