Fielding legend Jonty Rhodes has observed that there has been a total shift in the fielding approach of Indian fielders.
The legendary former South African cricketer, who distinguished himself as the most remarkable fielders to ever exist in the history of cricket, has bee meticulously observing the game even after retiring for over 17 years from the game.
When asked about his views on the fielding approach of the Indian players, Rhodes commended the fitness levels of the players. He drew a comparison between the former team Indian skipper MS Dhoni and the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Rhodes said, “One hundred per cent, but it’s more about the fitness levels. MS Dhoni started it in his quiet way. As captain, he was a quiet, behind-the-scenes guy with a lot of authority.
Compare that to Virat Kohli. Heart on his sleeve, he’s very determined in what he wants to change and what he thinks is important.”
Rhodes credited Kohli for influencing the whole team to power up in terms of their fitness levels and how it changed the game for them.
“You think of his fitness level and how it changed his game and his athletic ability. You’ve seen that with guys like Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina – players I’m a great fan of – because of the ability to move in the field and the contributions they make with the bat.”
He further confessed that Suresh Raina is among those players who have left a great impression on him, specifically commending his prolific performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I’ve enjoyed watching Suresh Raina throughout his career. He was Mr. IPL.”
Rhodes have admitted before on several occasions that Raina is one of his tops picks when it comes to athletic fielders, who have the power to change the course of the game by their intimidating fielding.
“My impression of him was: here’s a guy who is diving around, having grown up in India, which is an indication that he wasn’t afraid. Him and AB de Villiers, in the modern-day, I’ve enjoyed it.”
Jonty Rhodes is associated with the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab. He is currently serving as the coach in Sweden. He is also be seen as the head coach of Pune Devils for the upcoming T10 League.