By Arjun Prasad
Ever since the heartbreaking semi final loss at the hands of Australia in the 1999 World Cup, South African cricket has been forced to live with the ‘chokers’ tag. Despite having world class players in their ranks, the Proteas have often failed the final hurdle in high profile tournaments. This time however, they are a force to reckon with and will look to rewrite history.
Strengths– ‘Strengths strengths everywhere’ is what you will get when you look at the South African side. From Amla and De Kock upfront all the way till Steyn and Morkel below, the African contingent looks a solid unit. Add to that the batting wizardry of De Villiers and Du Plessis in the middle order; they seem to be almost an unstoppable force heading into the tournament.
Each one of these players are proven match winners individually and will walk into any side in the world based on the brand value they possess. They got all facets of the game covered and are certainly one of the favorites to nail the trophy.
Weakness – Despite having a slightly inexperienced outfit, the South Africans are proven performers. But the ability to collapse in high profile matches will continue to haunt them. Amla and De Kock have seldom failed to get them off to a good start and this allows the other batsmen to flourish no doubt. But, in case they lose the plot early, the others in that solid middle order succumb to the pressure.
Trump Card – De Villiers has not put a foot wrong ever since he made his cricket debut and one can’t help but wonder about his ‘inhumane’ feats. The hard hitting skipper amassed a quick fire 100 from just 31 deliveries recently and is perhaps ‘the batsman’ heading into the world cup. His arrays of shots are unmatched and he will plunder you given the leeway.
Squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn