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Lance Klusener exclusive interview – Proteas consistency issue, don’t write off Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, Ben Stokes’ knee is just for show

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Last Updated on 8 months by Charbel Coorey

Speaking exclusively to Online Cricket Betting, South Africa legend Lance Klusener, who had a magnificent tournament in 1999, doubts the Proteas will make it to the semi finals. He doesn’t think they will consistently score enough runs in the competition.

Also, he believes all-rounders are the glue in any cricket team and the nation doesn’t have enough of them. Ben Stokes looks good in any cricket set-up but thinks the knee injury is just for show. 

Lance Klusener interview ahead of the 2023 World Cup

The Proteas won’t make it to the semi finals, Australia could be there though

LK: “I’m not sure if South Africa will get out of the group stages. I think if they get to the semi finals, they will have needed to have consistently scored enough runs in the competition. That is the challenge for them. I’m not too sure they’ll reach the semi finals.

“I think Australia will be there in the semi finals and maybe finals but I’m not so sure that South Africa will go as far as the semi finals but let’s see and let’s hope so.”

Lance Klusener exclusive interview - Proteas consistency issue, don’t write off Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, Ben Stokes’ knee is just for show
Lance Klusener is not sure South Africa will qualify to the semi finals.

Could we see another 1999 style finish?

LK: “Can’t really give you anything too definitive after ‘99. But yes, of course, there’s always upsets, and that’s why we all play the game and play sports. But yes, absolutely something along those lines can happen.”

There’s no unfinished business between Australia and South Africa

LK: “In terms of the South Africa and Australia series, I think the conditions are totally different. Players were rested, rotated, certainly from an Australian point of view so it’s difficult to draw any certain conclusions from. But Australia are a proper good force in World Cups. It’ll be interesting to see.”

I don’t think you can stop Heinrich Klaasen, just like Ben Stokes

LK: “How do you stop him [Heinrich Klaasen]? I think he’s one of those batsmen that needs to fire for South Africa to get out of those group stages. Like Ben Stokes, he’s vulnerable early. If there’s some decent fast bowling at him early on, there’s always an opportunity and it always gives you an opportunity during the course of his innings. Two very good batsmen. Lets see with them.

“Ben Stokes is a proper good player but there’s ten other guys in that England team that are pretty decent so I don’t think there’s any real reason to be too concerned about one player. Scoring runs consistently in a place like India and the team that can do that will go deep into the competition.”

Lance Klusener believes Heinrich Klaasen will be vital for the Proteas.

There’s some good match ups between England and South Africa

LK: “I think it’s more than that. Can South Africa as a group consistently score an excess of 300 consistently in the competition against good teams? But a couple of good match ups there, Shamsi and Rashid, but I think a guy like Mark Wood on his day is going to be a handful especially with Rabada being a little bit off his best. But Buttler and Miller, Klassen and Stokes just as a batting group, whichever group shines on the day will be the one to get through it and win.

After the SA series, AUS still favourites

LK: “It’s all guess work. Never discount your Sri Lanka’s, your Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, those subcontinent teams doing well and creating upsets in those Indian conditions. 

“Australia have a good chance just like anyone, not forgetting New Zealand as well. Lots of teams there can cause an upset, lots of teams on South Africa’s plate can cause an upset. 

“In terms of batting, I’m not so sure South Africa can be consistent enough, some questions still need to be answered there. 

“And I think India is a pretty solid team.”

Australia need to look at their bowling options

LK: “If there’s no spinner for Australia, no quality spinner, are you better off choosing a fast bowler. They might be lacking one quality spinner but they’ve proved in South Africa they’ve got more than enough weapons in terms of slower bowling and full pace when it comes to doing what they need to do in the World Cup.”

Lance Klusener exclusive interview - Proteas consistency issue, don’t write off Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, Ben Stokes’ knee is just for show
Adam Zampa will be key for Australia.

South Africa might shock us all and go all the way

LK: “South Africa seem to never get over the line in big competitions due to bad luck, or down to rain, or bad running or whatever reason, but I’m sure at some point they will. Maybe this year when no one really, certainly not me, is giving them much of a chance, maybe they’ll surprise us all, which would be fantastic!”

No West Indies is weird

LK: “It’s a little bit weird not having the West Indies there. They’re going through a transition at the moment, failing to qualify in Zimbabwe. Bit of a shame, it’s always nice to have them in any World Cup.”

Joe Root might shine or might not

LK: “It’s hard to say what Joe Root’s form will be like in this World Cup. He’s a quality player, someone who’s performed around the world, he’s got a good as chance as anyone to get runs.”

Can the Proteas’ all-rounders step up?

LK: “In terms of all-rounders from South Africa, I think Marco Jansen is someone that’s going to be fantastic. I’m sure Keshav Maharaj could do pretty much what Nicky Boje could do for us. We’ve had some good all-rounders for us in the past and even before my time, in terms of Adrian Kuiper, Brian McMillan, Clive Rice.

“I think it goes in cycles really, nothing at the moment to write home about but Marco Jansen is going to grow and get better. I think a guy like Aiden Markram as well, let’s not forget him. But I think it does help, I think your all-rounders are like your glue, they seem to help with your balance so they might be missing an all-rounder or two but it is what it is.”

Can Aiden Markram have a big tournament?

Who knows where 50-over cricket might be after this World Cup

LK: “It’s hard to say what will happen in 50-over cricket, but it is the benchmark of white ball cricket so hopefully it doesn’t come under pressure but we’ve all seen the love and support that T20 gets. Let’s see what happens.”

Virat Kohli isn’t done yet

LK: “Virat Kohli, retirement? Probably not. He’s absolutely quality. He’ll be playing in his home conditions. He’ll probably be the leading run scorer if India go all the way.”

Stokes’ knee is just for show

LK: “Always looks like he’s carrying an injury. Never misses a game. I don’t know what to make of it. Someone with a hunger for the game. Always nice to see him in any set up, the extent of his knee injury; looks more for show than really anything. I haven’t seen him miss anything because of it. I think if it was a concern, they’d probably ask him to stop playing Test cricket and preserve him in some sort of way.”

Quickfire questions

  • Winner? Subcontinent team; India, Pakistan
  • Runners up? India, Pakistan
  • Dark horses? South Africa
  • Last 4? New Zealand, Australia, India, Pakistan
  • Last 2? India, Pakistan
  • Leading run scorer? Virat Kohli
  • Leading wicket taker? Who knows? Keshav Maharaj
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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