South Africa’s struggle continued in Test cricket in India, as they were heavily defeated by the hosts in the series-opening Test of the ongoing Freedom Trophy and Proteas great Jonty Rhodes believes that the absence of the former stars is playing a role in their current miserable display.
Having finished the World Cup 2019 on a disastrous note in England, South Africa is still struggling to get back its rhythm, and Rhodes feels that there’s lacks of unity in the current national team, calling for a strong back-up system and strong fighters to challenge the top teams.
He further said that the senior players' retirements has had a great impact on the Proteas side especially with a lot of changes and new management, saying it will be really hard for the current set-up to replace Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla or AB De Villiers in the side.
However, the fielding great said that the home side has the skills but lack of experience is playing huge role in the team’s struggle on the field against the really well-established India, saying the ongoing series is going to be a hard one for his home team.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Rhodes said: “Recently, I got a lot of flak in South Africa after I spoke about the lack of unity in the South African team. What I meant was that apart from the senior players that you have spoken about, we don't have a coaching staff. It's an interim coaching staff.”
He continued, “If you come to India, it's not just the players that need to perform. There has to be a strong back-up system because it is a long hard tour. As a South African player, it is pretty demanding. I think we have only won the Test series once with Hansie Cronje in 1999 when Mark Boucher played really well. So, you need those sorts of fighters in the side and now the has had a lot of changes.”
On the latest retirements, he said: “It's hard to replace Steyn, Amla or De Villiers. We have great fast bowlers in the side. We have guys who have got the skills, but have they done it before? No!”
Rhodes signed off by saying, “The experience is what South Africa is going to miss and they have got a brand-new management team. So, I don't see a lot of positives from the South African point of view. It's always tough here but it's going to be a hard tour.”
(With The New Indian Express Inputs)