Jonty Rhodes

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Former South Africa international, Mumbai Indians coach, and fielder extraordinaire.

Blog Posts by Jonty Rhodes

  • LIVE: Sri Lanka vs India, 3rd Day

    Day 3: Sri Lanka faces uphill battle to save the Galle Test.

    Day 3: Sri Lanka faces uphill battle to save the Galle Test.

  • Live Chat With Jonty Rhodes

    The South African legend will speak to you live during the India-Bangladesh match.

  • The Ghost Has Finally Been Exorcised

    South Africa have that elusive win in a knockout. But bigger challenges lie ahead.

    Duminy and de Kock's excellent performances masked South Africa's problems. Duminy and de Kock's excellent performances masked South Africa's problems.

    The ghost has finally been exorcised. At least that's how it feels for the South African supporters—to see the team put one across their opponents in a World Cup knock-out match. Yes, that one elusive win, which now done, seems a minor hurdle crossed as the team surges ahead in search of bigger glory.

    My pre-game observations have gone off target and I am happy to be proven wrong by both Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy, two of the 11 stars in the SA performance in their QF match against Sri Lanka at Sydney.

    Every indication pointed towards a high-scoring thriller at the SCG, especially with the current form of some of the senior Lankan batsmen, and the visible shortage of a fifth bowler in the SA ranks. I am really glad that Kyle Abbott was given another opportunity, as his pace and swing allow AB de Villiers to prolong his battery of pace. Rotating his quicks ensured every opportunity of taking wickets in the first 10 overs of the game - key against any opposition, and more so against

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  • Player Clashes Provide Fodder To Media

    Sammy's public sulk was avoidable.

    Bangladesh upstaging England to enter the quarterfinals was the only unexpected change from the pre-tournament predictions of most cricket analysts.

    The World Cup moves to the knockouts from Wednesday. From here on there are no second chances. There is a two-day break for the teams to chart out strategies for the business end of the tournament.

    The last Sunday of the league phase had West Indies taking on the UAE before Pakistan met Ireland in a must-win game.

    With an impending storm threatening to shorten the match, Jason Holder justifiably bowled first. Holder bowled his 10 overs on the trot and had the opposition in knots at 6 for 46. His lethal spell of short bowling proved unplayable for the UAE and he was ably supported by the ever reliable Jerome Taylor.

    A late rearguard from Amjad Javed and Nasir Aziz helped set the fighting target of 175 for the West Indies, who, with the help of the composed Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter, chased it down comfortably.

    The match was marred

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  • Rohit & Jadeja Are Struggling, But India Should Not Drop Them

    MSD wouldn't want to disturb his settled unit that is unbeaten at the World Cup.

    They may be called minnows, but they have a fighting spirit and some great players who can put the big names of champion sides in the shade. Zimbabwe is one such side and their stand-in captain Brendan Taylor one such champion.

    Once again, Zimbabwe pushed a top-rung team deep into the match, but sadly, once again, the lack of a genuine pace bowler prevented them from leaking the flow of runs in the last 10 overs.

    Taylor performed admirably and ended his international career fittingly by scoring his second consecutive World Cup hundred. Sadly for Taylor, one of my favourite players in India, Suresh Raina, batted superbly with his skipper MS Dhoni to save India from a hairy situation and take them to the knockouts unbeaten.

    It was good to watch the highlights of the Raina and Dhoni partnership, but what you didn't see was the incredible running between the wickets of these two power hitters. They were quite superb and made scoring nine runs per look absolutely simple.

    There are

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  • Dhoni's Vocabulary Doesn't Have Mercy

    He'll take on Zimbabwe and Bangladesh with the same intensity as ever.

    MS DhoniMS Dhoni

    New Zealand maintained their winning streak and completed the league stage with full points, though with a mild hiccup in the process in their last encounter against the rejuvenated Bangladesh.

    India will also be aiming for a clean sweep of their league matches as they meet Zimbabwe in their last encounter on Saturday at Auckland. From the past experience I can say that MS Dhoni is not known to change his winning combination and is likely to continue with the same playing XI.

    The team's performance has been incredible, and has caused many observers, including me, to eat their words. With the batsmen in such good form, and the World Cup within their grasp, I am sure that Dhoni's men will not want to miss out on a game against Zimbabwe. The only way Zimbabwe can be competitive in this encounter is if India take their opposition lightly. However, having watched MSD over previous WC and IPL campaigns, mercy doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary, and I expect India to complete their pool

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  • South Africa Have Some Worries Ahead of Quarterfinal

    Sri Lanka turn strong contenders for the quarterfinal but SA have things to fix.

    Steyn and De Kock have been ineffective at the tournament. Steyn and De Kock have been ineffective at the tournament.

    South Africa completed its league phase with a convincing win over UAE, but continues to carry a few concerns into the next round, where they will likely meet a strong contender in Sri Lanka in the quarter final.

    The worry starts at the top. Opening batsman Quinton de Kock is woefully out of form averaging less than 10 in the tournament . Surprisingly he failed to capitalise against the friendly UAE bowling attack and needs to be rested. Captain AB de Villiers has to don the gloves and Hashim Amla needs a more reliable partner and I think Rilee Rossouw, who had considerable success opening when de Kock was injured, fits the bill for the slot.

    I don’t think that de Kock has the mental strength at this early stage in his career to both keep wickets and open the innings alongside one of the best in the business at cricket’s greatest stage. There has been added pressure on Amla to bat through the majority of the innings and also make full utilisation of the first power play overs. AB

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  • Here’s how India could retain the World Cup

    I am in awe of the way the team has gone about in a very professional manner with the ball and the bat, says Jonty Rhodes

    India's M S Dhoni plays a square cut against Afghanistan during an ODI warm-up match in Adelaide on February 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / THEO KARANIKOSIndia's M S Dhoni plays a square cut against Afghanistan during an ODI warm-up match in Adelaide on February 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / THEO KARANIKOS

    The Hamilton wicket is known to assist seam and swing. However, teams prefer to bat first and put up a big total after winning the toss.

    Ireland did precisely that, their decision seemed to be going in the right direction with the openers scoring at almost six an over in the first 15 overs, another 300-plus score looked imminent.

    Ireland, however, was up against the defending champions, led by an unperturbedly cool and different-thinking captain in Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

    Much as I started writing this column analyzing the Indian team, I am in awe of the way the team went about in a very professional manner, first with the ball and later with the bat.

    To Dhoni’s credit, he knows exactly how to effect the right bowling changes at the right moment. Many a time he has been accused of being too defensive, but then you got to back his instincts that make the team put up a record nine-match winning streak at the World Cup.

    India’s bowling obviously was one of the weak links before the

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  • England Never Looked Like They Had A Plan

    On the other hand, Bangladesh's bowlers came prepared for this big game.

    Mashrafe gets Joe Root.Mashrafe gets Joe Root.

    They came into the 2015 World Cup seeded the No. 1 team. Ironically they were the first Test team to be eliminated from the tournament. England’s cup of woe brimmeth over.

    The change of guard ahead of the showpiece event was just the beginning of things to come. Losses to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka notwithstanding, the Englishmen’s win over associate Scotland seemed like a consolation, before running into the roaring tigers from Bangladesh who are not new to toppling top teams at the World Cup.

    Having never qualified for the knockout stage of the World Cup, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza described it as one of the biggest matches in Bangladesh's cricket history and he was wary of the opposition.

    The must-win game at Adelaide was likely to go either way, and in conditions ideal for batting as the match progresses, England chose to bowl first. Once again the middle order changed the course of the match.

    Two wickets before ten runs on the board, two more before hundred and Bangladesh

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  • When Classic Met Modern

    Hundreds of contrasting styles from Maxwell and Sangakkara were Sunday's highlight.

    At 37 years, with 14,000 ODI runs and a record third consecutive century in the World Cup, Kumar Sangakkara seemed ever as young and played a classic cricket innings. Contrast that to the blitzkrieg by Glenn Maxwell earlier in the day scoring a maiden century in just 51 balls to take Australia to 376.

    An interesting aspect of the Sunday game between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney was the record-threatening run chase ended much closer than portrayed by the 64 run margin of victory for the hosts.

    After the early exit of the openers, the Aussie innings was first built on the perfect partnership of skipper Michael Clarke and Steve Smith fifties, before both departed in quick succession.

    Maxwell has had quite a few 80s and 90s over the past two years. The SCG innings was built with more caution and the three-figure mark is a monkey off his back. He was involved in a 160 run partnership with Shane Watson, whose return to form, with a quick fire half-century, I feel, must add cheer to the

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