Hardik Pandya, Ben Stokes to play big roles for their respective teams in T20 World Cup: Jacques Kallis

Praising Pandya and Stokes, Kallis also said India and South Africa will be the teams to watch out for in the World Cup.

Jacques Kallis
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Jacques Kallis. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Former South African stalwart and cricketing great Jacques Kallis has insisted on the importance of having world-class all-rounders in the squad, hailing Hardik Pandya and Ben Stokes as two of the best in the business. The Protea feels that the mercurial duo will have a big say in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

Jacques Kallis, who is regarded as one of the all-time greats due to his exceptional all-round contributions to the game throughout his career, opined that Hardik Pandya and Ben Stokes belong to a rare breed of players which needs to be looked after. Kallis believes that both Pandya and Stokes will have a big say on their respective team's fortunes in the upcoming ICC mega event.

"These two (Hardik Pandya and Ben Stokes) are world-class all-rounders. All-rounders are something you need to look after; they don't come around often. I am sure both of them will play a big role in their respective teams. It will be a good battle between both of them," Kallis said in an interview with NDTV.

India and South Africa would be the teams to watch out for in the T20 World Cup: Kallis

Two of the most exciting sides in white-ball cricket, India and South Africa, are currently engaged in a three-match T20I series before heading to Australia for the global event. The former South African all-rounder feels that although the conditions will be different Down Under, the ongoing series will be vital for their chances in the World Cup. He was hopeful about the chances of his countrymen in the tournament, backing the underfire Protean skipper Temba Bavuma.

"I think both India and South Africa would be up there in terms of teams to watch out for in the T20 World Cup. It will be an important series in India now between these two teams even though the conditions would be different. I think these two teams would be up there, in World Cup, you need the luck to go your way and stuff like that. Hopefully, especially from South Africa's point of view, it will be a good World Cup for us."

"I think the team will back him. The coach has come out saying they will back him. And it is a totally different competition, his focus should be entirely on the World Cup. The most important thing for him should be to focus on the World Cup," added Kallis.