Jonty Rhodes, the name itself holds as much regard in fielding as Sachin Tendulkar in batting. The former South African is one of the best fielders that the game has ever blessed with. Rhodes as a fielding coach is a dream for any team in the world, but in an uncomprehending situations even Rhodes failed to get the job of India’s fielding coach last year.
Jonty Rhodes was one of the hot favourites to grab the position of fielding coach but surprisingly, Rhodes failed to make the cut for the interviews. Subsequently, R Sridhar got the advantage of having worked with the team previously and bagged the job. Other two shortlisted candidates- Abhay Sharma and T Dilipfinished second and third in the list respectively.
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After the selection of coaches, MSK Prasad, head of selection panel that picked the coaches, had said that Rhodes’ application was more for India A and National Cricket Academy level. “We don’t see Jonty (Rhodes) fitting in there (choice Nos 2 and 3) because those roles are more for India A level and NCA,” Prasad had said.
Indian coach Ravi Shastri had also echoed the efforts of R Sridhar after the World Cup 2019 debacle. Shastri had said, “R. Sridhar is one of the best fielding coaches in the world. Unfortunately, in the World Cup, we had three wicket-keepers in the side and the combination was like that. Otherwise, he transformed the fielding unit so there is no second thought on that.“
Recently, One of Rhodes followers questioned him to answer the reason of not becoming India’s fielding coach. Rhodes, in a cheeky manner, replied: “They said “no thanks”.
After the interview process Rhodes had also echoed the same reason of R Sridhar getting the advanrage of having worked with the team recently. “I am sure my interview was not as good as the one with the incumbent coach because he has been there for the last couple of years. Players have definitely worked with a plan. And you can see the progress as it just doesn’t happen. I am expecting that from an interview point of view – he kicked my butt,” Rhodes had said.
Though Jonty Rhodes has been a regular part of Indian Premier League. The legend previously worked with Mumbai Indians and in IPL 2020 Rhodes willjoin the likes of Anil Kumble, Andy Flower and Wassim Jaffar in the Kings XI Punjab set-up.