Mumbai, Jul 24: Former cricketer Jonty Rhodes gave a huge morale-boost to the Indian batsmen for their upcoming battle against the South African pace attack in the three-Test series later this year, saying they possessed the wherewithal to confront the high-quality home team bowlers led by Dale Steyn.
“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 told PTI in an interview here.
“Dale Steyn is fast but he is not going to kill you. Vernon Philander bowls 130 kmph but he bowls in good areas and Morne 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,” said the 43-year-old former Proteas player.
India are scheduled to play the world's highest-ranked Test team in three matches scheduled at Kingsmead (Durban), Newlands (Cape Town) and New Wanderers Stadium (Johannesburg) between December 26 and January 19.
Rhodes, who played 52 Tests and 245 ODIs for South Africa, was here as the brand ambassador for his country's pizza chain ‘Debonairs Pizza'.
The ex-cricketer, renowned for his extraordinary fielding at backward point and who has become a fielding coach after his playing days, termed Virat Kohli and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the real danger men for his home country as both were good players off the back foot.
“Kohli is a very strong player. He accumulates runs very quickly.
He will be a real danger man in South Africa and don't forget the captain (Dhoni) batting down the order.
He (also) scores runs at a fast rate and is not afraid of the short-ball.
“That is going to be another key in South Africa, the guys who pull and cut. Kohli and Dhoni play very well off the back foot,” he said.