New Delhi: South African fielding legend Jonty Rhodes on Friday said England will find the going tough in sub-continental conditions when they take on India in a five-match Test rubber, starting from November 9 at Rajkot.
Besides playing the five Tests, England will also take on the hosts in three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals.
“It’s going to be tough for England. Being in India for five Tests is going to be physically and mentally very demanding because you are in a situation where conditions are not comfortable to you and it puts you under a bit more pressure,” Rhodes told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
“If you are in a three Test series, you kind of can get in and get out but it is going to be tough in a five-match series,” he added.
Rhodes, who is here as a mentor of the Indian Junior Players League (IJPL) T20 tournament — a cricket talent hunt — credited the Twenty20 format of the game for producing some excellent fielders.
“In our time, I was the number one fielder because there was no number 2 or 3 but now you have got youngsters throwing themselves around. So the standard of the game has certainly improved and T20 cricket has done that,” he said.
“What T20 cricket has done is that there is no longer a case between bat and ball. The skill level of players has improved tremendously. Players are playing shots all around the ground.”
“Bowlers now have to adapt. They can’t just bowl reverse swinging yorkers. You need to bowl the slower ball, slower ball bouncers, different kind of cutters. It’s all about adapting the skills as quickly as possible,” he added.
The 47-year-old, who has been the fielding coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Mumbai Indians for long said T20 cricket isn’t only about slambang batting but also involves skills and technique.
“I don’t think it’s just a batters game. I have seen enough T20 cricket in my time to know that if you have good enough skills you can be successful. Every one thought that spin bowlers will never compete and dominate in T20 cricket but often they are ones who are on top. It’s a game that requires a bit of skill and great intensity,” he said.
“People were critical of T20 cricket, saying that it is not real cricket but it brings young players who are the future generation of your Test teams.”
Citing Virat Kohli’s brilliant run of form across all the formats, Rhodes said the Indian Test skipper is a perfect example of how good limited overs players make good Test cricketers.
“It makes Virat Kohlis. Limited overs players have done well and made a name for themselves and T20 cricket has helped them convert into very good Test players,” Rhodes said.