India, Australia favourites for Champions Trophy: Rhodes

Updated: 16 August 2009 12:38 IST

Former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes considers India and Australia as the favourites to win next month's Champions Trophy.

India, Australia favourites for Champions Trophy: Rhodes

Johannesburg:

Former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes considers India and Australia as the favourites to win next month's Champions Trophy.

"India are very good, they've learnt how to travel and win and they have destructive bowlers and hitters in their line-up," Rhodes said.

"But Australia are written off far too easily, they will obviously be strong contenders, they have a good record in the competition and they know how to win," the fielding coach for Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians added.

On the home team, Rhodes said playing in their own backyard would count for little for Graeme Smith's men.

"Home ground advantage is meaning less because all teams travel so much now and they've learnt how to win away from home in different conditions. The support of the crowd does make a difference, but South Africa won't be relying on that.

"They are a really well-balanced unit and they are setting standards for the other teams to chase," Rhodes told a cricket website.

The veteran of 245 One-Day Internationals and a member of the side that won the inaugural Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998, Rhodes said Proteas would have to be consistent to succeed in the eight-nation tourney.

"Because it's 50-over cricket, it means the more consistent sides should come through. But you can't afford to have a bad day. We saw that in the World Twenty20, where we played great cricket but, to take nothing away from the opposition, someone like Shahid Afridi produced something special," he said.

"Everyone in the team knows their roles, they've got special players in batting, bowling and fielding. They've learnt how to hit the ground running and how to switch on very quickly and the management team of Graeme Smith and Mickey Arthur have been very good at that," Rhodes noted.

The Champions Trophy will be played from September 22 to October 5.



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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