India might have begun their World Cup campaign with a morale-boosting win over Pakistan but former Protea batsman Jonty Rhodes feels that South Africa are a better all-round side and tipped them to win their high-profile clash against the defending champions in Melbourne on Sunday.
Jonty said despite a strong performance by India in their comprehensive win over arch-rivals Pakistan, South Africa’s strong batting, lethal bowling attack and all-round fielding capabilities would give the Proteas the edge.
“Much as I see India putting up an improved performance over the past few months in Australia, fresh from their rejuvenating win against Pakistan, I foresee a South African win with their strong batting, lethal bowling and an all-round fielding side led by mercurial AB de Villiers,” Jonty, who has turned World Cup analyst for Yahoo Cricket, told PTI in an interview.
Talking highly of the South African pace attack comprising Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander, Jonty said that India will have quite a task against such a potent bowling on Sunday.
“South African pace attack is similar to that of Australia, and more potent than Pakistan. Having seen the pace, bounce and swing during Australia’s defeat of England a few days ago, I believe that SA pacers will be able to put the Indian batting line-up under pressure, and utilise the new ball with a couple of early wickets. India’S task is really cut out,” 45-year-old Jonty, who rose to prominence with a flying run-out of Inzamam ul Haq in a 1992 World Cup league match against Pakistan, said.