JOHANNESBURG – But for a few wrinkles around the eyes, Lance Klusener, who turned 48 yesterday, looks like he could still stride to the middle of a cricket field and launch balls miles into the stratosphere.
Klusener still possesses those broad shoulders and muscular forearms that wielded one of the heaviest bats of the post-isolation era. And he is determined that the kind of icy intimidation with which he played, should and could be replicated by the current era of Proteas and that talk of a transition should be no excuse for poor performances.
Klusener played 49 Tests and 171 one-day internationals, with his most famous displays coming in the 1999 World Cup where he almost single-handedly dragged South Africa to the title.
He was something of a surprising call up to Enoch Nkwe’s coaching staff and his role for now involves working only with the T20 team for its three-match series in India, the first match of which takes place in Dharamshala next Sunday.
How long Klusener stays with the team beyond this tour is something that still needs to be resolved. “I’ve got other engagements up until February,” he said at the Tshwane University of Technology Oval, where a small group of Proteas have been training ahead of departing for India tomorrow.
Klusener will work mainly with the batsmen for the T20 series and while he can’t look too far ahead he is determined to change one aspect of their play.
“I’ve been watching as a spectator for eight years it’s hard to say from the outside, what I see is (a lack of) intensity. That’s what I would be looking at... I hate to say it, but it just doesn’t look right.”