Klusener: India need 'more consistent performance' with the ball from Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has been a seamer rejuvenated since his comeback via the IPL 2022 with Gujarat Titans. 
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Hardik Pandya has been bowling at full tilt in T20Is for India after a terrific allround display in the IPL for Titans. 

One of the finest allrounders the game has seen, former South Africa cricketer Lance Klusener believes much of India's campaign at the T20 World Cup in Australia would depend on their premier two-skill player Hardik Pandya goes with the ball in hand. 

Klusener said he is highly impressed with Pandya's batting performances over the years for India but it is the impact of his right-arm seam bowling that makes him arguably the most important cog in India's wheels and he needs to be more consistent at it. 

To be fair to Hardik Pandya, the Baroda allrounder has been a seamer rejuvenated since his comeback to competitive cricket via IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans (GT) to the title. 

Apart from top-scoring for his team, Pandya delivered critical overs in the fifth-bowler's capacity, going for 7.27 runs an over. He bowled a match-winning spell of 3/17 against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the final. In T20Is since then, he has taken 12 wickets at a reasonably decent ER of 8.65 for his role in the bowling attack. 

Klusener wants India to seek more out of Pandya the bowler 

“Look, I think Hardik is a fantastic player. I don’t have any reservations certainly with the bat and the way he plays is amazing. Possibly just squeezing out a little bit more performance with the ball a little bit more consistent performance, where he can be kind of pencilled in for his quota of overs in all forms of white ball cricket," Klusener told News18 CricketNext. 

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For Klusener, the missing jigsaw in Pandya's puzzle is to retain good form with the ball and be consistent at his secondary skill for India to sustain their desired balance in the playing XI. 

"So, that can possibly be an area where if he nailed down and, you could get 10 overs out of him and you add that to where his batting is then he becomes one of the best or if not the best all-rounder in the world."

"So I guess that’s a small area of growth for him. For Indian management to try and squeeze out that last bit of performance out of him certainly with the ball," Klusener added. 

Over time, Pandya has become a dependable No.5 in the T20I side while providing duties as the third or the fourth seamer. Perhaps the most important player on the Indian playing sheet.