AB de Villiers' success due to hard work and commitment: Jonty Rhodes
Former South African cricketer and current fielding coach of the Mumbai Indians, Jonty Rhodes was recently in the news after it emerged that he had named his baby daughter ‘India’. Talking about the reason for curiously naming his daughter so in an interview to the Times of India, Rhodes said: “I've been coming to India since 1993. Since I've retired and come back as a coach, I've made it my goal, every time, to see parts of India I haven't seen before.
“This time around it has been a little more restrictive because of having a 10-day old baby! I love to explore India, unlike a lot of the other players who like to stay in their hotel rooms. One of the reasons we named our daughter India is that it's an all-embracing culture.”
Rhodes, who is arguably the best fielder the world has ever seen, has been working closely with a lot of Indian players over the last few years in his capacity as fielding coach of Mumbai in the IPL. In that time, the standard of Indian fielding has seen a drastic improvement, with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina being considered among the best fielders in the world today.
Love watching Suresh Raina in the field: Rhodes
When asked about who, in his view, is the best Indian fielder, he stated: “Man, they're all good! It's incredible how that has changed and it's all down to fitness and athleticism. The (Indian) guys have always worked on their batting and bowling but through the IPL, a generation of new players have shown that fielding is the third element of the game. I love watching Suresh Raina.
“There is not a ball which goes past him without him diving for it. Virat Kohli is deadly at throwing at the stumps, Jadeja is awesome, so is Shikhar Dhawan. Ajinkya Rahane is brilliant at backward point. I mean the two run outs at the MCG against South Africa still hurt!”
AB de Villiers is a great thinker of the game: Rhodes
Meanwhile, his compatriot AB de Villiers has continued his brilliant form this IPL season and is arguably the best batsman in the world today. The standout feature of de Villiers’ batting is his versatility in being able to adjust himself to any situation and play accordingly, which explains him being one of only two batsmen, the other being Hashim Amla, to average in excess of 50 in both Test and ODI cricket.
“Everyone knew he had talent. AB married that with hard work, commitment and also innovation, which was the key there. He's taken the game to such new heights because he thinks about it. He doesn't just stand there and bash it. He tries to get inside the mind of the bowler,” Rhodes explained when asked about the reason behind de Villiers’ success.