Hansie would've been a good T20 player: Cullinan
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Former Proteas batting great also says fielding substitutions could make IPL more interesting.
Former South Africa cricketer Daryll Cullinan believes his deceased skipper Hansie Cronje could have been a good T20 player. (Photo: AFP)
Mumbai: Former South Africa specialist batsman Daryll Cullinan once hit a six into a frying pan of calamari, disturbing the kitchen during a regional match back home, but stayed away from T20 cricket. The stalwart, in India for the IPL, praised the modern-day cricketers for their strength across formats.
"We all know Test cricket is under a bit of threat but the guys are stronger now, playing a reverse sweep easily. Many Test players from my era could have been phenomenal T20 players. It was never my game though," said Cullinan, adding: "Hansie (Cronje) would have been a good T20 player. He had a good strike rate, played spinners well."
Cullinan made his debut when Kepler Wessels led South Africa but played most of his cricket under Cronje’s leadership.
The right-handed batsman, a veteran of 70 Tests and 138 ODI matches, also included compatriot and former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener in his list.
"Lance spent hours with the bowling machine during our times. Even Mark Waugh (Australia) could have done well in T20," added Cullinan, who finished with 4,554 and 3,860 runs in Tests and ODI cricket respectively.
The 49-year-old batted for fielding substitutions in IPL. Hence, talking about Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli’s reason to drop Sarfaraz Khan due to fitness issues, he said: "I would love to see fielding substitutions. There has been brilliant fielding and good catches taken."
Cricket’s shortest format often triggers a debate – is cricket solely a batsman’s game? Cullinan prefers making a team with "five bowlers first, and then, the rest".
But MS Dhoni under-bowling R Ashwin is a jolt for the expert as well.
"I am definitely surprised with Dhoni not bowling Ashwin that much. He probably kept him for the later half but didn’t use him," he said.
Nonetheless, Cullinan is happy to look at contemporary Brad Hogg still turning out for Kolkata Knight Riders.
"He is entertaining, commendable effort at this age (45) but he needs more time on the pitch. I have had good times with him. But KKR lost the last two matches he played," he laughed.