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ICC World Cup 2019 | Pandya Might be the Equivalent of 1999 Klusener: Waugh

Cricketnext Staff |June 12, 2019, 1:40 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Pandya Might be the Equivalent of 1999 Klusener: Waugh

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh feels Hardik Pandya can dominate the ongoing World Cup like South Africa's Lance Klusener did in the 1999 edition as he thinks the Indian all-rounder's clean-hitting is something that no opposing skipper can deal with.

Pandya raced his way to a 27-ball 48 at The Oval to help India post an imposing 352 for 5 against Australia on Sunday. India then bundled Australia out for 316 for a 36-run win.

"...it's the innings of Hardik Pandya that will send shivers down opposition spines. This guy might just be the equivalent of Lance Klusener in the 1999 World Cup. He has the ability to begin his innings like most finish, with clean hitting that no opposing captain can protect," Waugh wrote in his column for the ICC's official website.

The knock played by Pandya, who hit four fours and three maximums, reminded Waugh of Klusener's fireworks in the 1999 World Cup. Klusener was the man of the tournament 20 years ago in England for his destructive lower-order hitting that netted 281 runs at a strike rate of 122.17, a phenomenal tally in the pre-T20 days of 1999.

The left-hander's exploits powered South Africa to within one run of making the final at Lord's, but a frantic run out on the semi-final at Edgbaston resulted in Waugh's Australia securing a famous tie.

Australia went on to win the World Cup title by outclassing Pakistan in the final.

"When they (India) get off to solid opening partnership, as they did against Australia, they then have the luxury of seeing Virat Kohli orchestrate the remainder of the innings," Waugh wrote.

Praising veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni who hit a 14-ball 27, Waugh said: "The cunning and sheer brilliance of MS Dhoni rarely fails to deliver and again he timed his assault on Australia to post a 350 plus target.

"Australia will be disappointed that they missed some crucial chances in the field and their bowling was at times loose and not as disciplined as expected."

Chasing an imposing total, the Australians would have required a solid platform before launching an all-out assault in the last 15 overs.

"Australia were never quite on track to create history with David Warner and to a lesser extent Steve Smith struggling for their usual rhythm and control at the crease," said Waugh, one of the most successful captains of all time.

"To win against the odds everything must fall into place and the turning point came early in the innings with the run out of Aaron Finch who looked in imperious touch and looked set for a big hundred," he said.

Despite the loss, Waugh said Australia can still feature in the semi-finals.

"India will walk away from this match full of confidence as most of their key players did exactly what needed to be done under extreme pressure and their game plan was executed perfectly," Waugh wrote.

"Australia won't be too disappointed as they have time to dissect this loss, fine tune their process, tinker with batting orders and bowling options and manoeuvre things around before the semi-finals come around."

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
AUS
7 6 1 0 12 +0.90
2
NZ
7 5 1 1 11 +1.02
3
IND
5 4 0 1 9 +0.80
4
ENG
7 4 3 0 8 +1.05
5
BAN
7 3 3 1 7 -0.13
6
PAK
7 3 3 1 7 -0.97
7
SL
6 2 2 2 6 -1.11
8
WI
6 1 4 1 3 +0.19
9
SA
7 1 5 1 3 -0.32
10
AFG
7 0 7 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4674 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more