Former Proteas batsman Jonty Rhodes has reiterated the daunting task that awaits interim team director Enoch Nkwe and colleagues in India.
The Proteas will tour India for three T20Is and as many Tests in August and September. Nkwe has been appointed after head coach Ottis Gibson’s tenure was not renewed. The tourists, too, will be without batsman Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn.
Amla recently retired from all international cricket, while Steyn’s Test career has ended. He was not considered for the T20I series due to medical reasons.
‘When you have an interim coach, it’s a difficult situation. Having played in the Indian Premier League, a few of the South Africa players are comfortable with the sub-continent. It’s not much of a unit that’s coming here,’ the Hindustan Times quoted Rhodes as saying.
‘When the chips are down, you need the dressing room to stand up first. With the kind of results India have had at home, I don’t see much of a change in the scoreline.
‘Steyn has been in and out because of injuries. Amla unfortunately wasn’t in the best form. South Africa haven’t relied heavily on them. But in India, incredible players come through the ranks. South Africa, maybe, don’t have that exposure.’
India, meanwhile, have retained head coach Ravi Shastri – and recently collected an ODI series victory over the West Indies in the Caribbean.
‘The Indian team that has a happy dressing room often converts that into winning ways on the field. You need the personnel, but you also need a good environment. South Africa is kind of “yes” or “no” right now,’ added Rhodes.
The 50-year-old Rhodes was in contention for the vacant India fielding coach position. He worked with the Mumbai Indians for several seasons in the IPL, but has effectively been removed from the running in the wake of senior selection committee MSK Prasad’s comment.
‘We don’t see Jonty fitting in there,’ said Prasad.
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