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Jonty: India have skills to outclass SA pacers

Jonty Rhodes, in Mumbai, on Wednesday

Mumbai: Jonty Rhodes provided a huge morale-booster for the Indian batsmen for their upcoming battle in South Africa against the likes of quicks Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

According to Rhodes, India do possess the wherewithal to confront the high quality pace attack of the Proteas in the hard, bouncy pitches of South Africa. “In the IPL, they (Indians) are playing against the South Africans and Australians. They have a lot more confidence playing against them.

“They have the ability and the skill. They are not afraid of the pace,” Rhodes said, here, on Wednesday.

“Dale Steyn is fast, but he is not going to kill you. Vernon Philander bowls at 130 kmph and in good areas, while Morkel gets bounce.

“It needs different skills to face those three different bowlers, but the Indian line up certainly has the ability to outclass the South African pace attack if they put their minds to it,” the 43-year-old former South Africa middle-order batsman added.

Rhodes emphasised that India’s batsmen should focus on occupying the crease as one bad session cost them the game, given the conditions in South Africa. “The key to do well in South Africa is to bat for long. There is bounce in the wicket. Even if you win the first session, you could still be bowled out at the end of the day. You have to bat well in all the three sessions.        

“India, though, have a team that is capable of doing so. Shikhar (Dhawan), Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and the likes are used to batting for longer periods. That will be the key when they tour South Africa.

“They do have a bowling attack that can get 20 wickets, but the key will be whether their batsmen can get big scores,” he elaborated.

Rhodes considers Virat Kohli and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the danger men for South Africa, especially for their ability to play with authority off the back foot. (PTI)