South Africa : The Champions in Making

South Africa : The Champions in Making

South Africa : The Champions in Making : The 12th Edition of cricket’s most prestigious tournament- the World Cup gets underway in England from the 30th May. Ten best teams of the cricketing world will battle against each other to win the trophy that connects the millions of heartbeats around the world. The Mecca of Cricket- Lords will witness the crowning of new King of 50 Over Cricket on 14th of July 2019. England, India though stands to be favourites for the tournament, but one must not ignore the World No.3 South African side who are determined to win their maiden World Cup finals.

Journey of South Africa in ICC World Cup

South Africa made their first ICC World Cup appearance in the year 1992 in Australia. The Proteas were allowed in their first World Cup in the run-up to the end of apartheid. The event marked the beginning of one of the best Cricketing team of the world. The World Cup was nothing less like a fairy-tale for the South African team after they made their place in the maiden World Cup Semifinals. However, the “Rain God” ended their dream run after the scoreboard showed they needed an impossible 22 runs of one ball under the D/L rules.

In 1996 World Cup, the Proteas were one of the most favoured sides to win the World Cup. However, the team was crashed out of the quarter-final played at Karachi against West Indies. The dashing 111 runs by Brian Lara bundled out the heavily favoured South African team from the World Cup.

World Cup of 1999 seemed like a history was going to created by South Africa. In semi finals against Australia, South Africa seemed to be on the path to be in their maiden World Cup finals. They bundled up the Australian side to 213 runs. However, destiny had something else in its box for the Proteas. The match was tied, and Australia went into the finals on the superior net run rate.

2003 World Cup proved to be disaster for the South African team. The team was routed out of the tournament in the group stage. This time again rain played a hand in South Africa’s demise from World Cup. The Duckworth-Lewis calculation ended the teams World Cup hopes in Durban against Sri Lanka.

In 2007, in a much-hyped semi-final, South Africa were the ultimate favourites against the defending champion Australia. However, the duo of Shaun Tait and the legend Glenn McGrath bundled the Proteas to mere 149 runs yet again ending South African dream to be the world champion.

After ruling the group stages, the South African team entered the quarter finals and were up against the Black Caps, New Zealand in 2011 World Cup tournament. Batting first the Kiwis limped below 221 runs, however, the Proteas who were at 108 for the loss of 2 wicket crumbled under the pressure. They lost their last eight wickets for mere 64 runs and thereby were out of one more World Cup tournament.

2015 World Cup yet again added up to the failure list of the Proteas. South African team were again in the semi-finals facing the host New Zealand. The Kiwis who needed 5 runs of last two delivery ended the dream run of South Africa once again. South Africa, one more time in the history of world cricket failed to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Journey of South Africa After 2015 World Cup

Since World Cup 2015, England has had the best track record. English side had won 46 of 69 matches that it had played and have had a winning percentage of about 66.67%. South Africa on the other hand had maintained a win percentage of 58.49%. They have won 31 ODI matches of the total 53 that they played. Their win record has been the third best in the world just after England and India. Prior to World Cup, the Proteas had won the ODI series against Sri Lanka (5-2) and Pakistan (3-2).

Team Profile

The Proteas enters the World Cup battlefield with a youthful team. The team which have reached the World Cup semi-finals four times has only seven members out of 15-man squad who had been to World Cup before. However, coach Ottis Gibson believes that hopes will leave any negativity buried deep in the past. Since World Cup 2015, lot has changed for the South African team. They no longer have AB de Villers. Morne Morkel too has announced has his retirement. However, under the leadership of Faf du Plessis, the young South African team may not seem to be strongest but they have the pool of talent that promises a lot.

Pic Courtesy: CricTracker.com

Key Player

Quinton de Kock, a wicket keeper batsman is regarded as a throwback to one of the best Adam Gilchrist. Proteas heavily depends upon him to build the foundation. In recent time he was a key player who had exploited the Sri Lankan team and has been the third-highest scorer in the recent concluded IPL tournament.

Faf du Plessis, is regarded as the South Africa’s captain cool. The calm and composed nature of Faf, turns out to be perfect fit for international cricket. With an average of over 45 runs, the captain turns out to be a back bone of the Proteas.

Kagiso Rabada, the fast bowler brings along with him power, accuracy, experience and strength. The young pacer is complete package in making for the international cricket.

Strength

Bowling

Led by Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada and supported by Lungi Ngidi and Dwaine Pretorious, the fast bowling attack of South Africa is of no match. The team has the three of world’s fastest and fearsome bowlers. In the spin department, leg spinner Imran Tahir turns out to be one of the finest in the world. In all the team can rely on their bowlers to produce the best result for them.

Weakness

Batting

Team South Africa has weakened in its batting department. The team lacks the experience and is solely dependent on the performance of Captain Faf du Plesis and wicket keeper batsman Quinton de Cock. Hasim Amla had been struggling with his form in recent times. However, the middle order carries some experience. JP Duminy and Morris are able enough to provide some strength to the middle order. However, with some seniors struggling with form, the younger lot have loads to prove.

Crowd’s Verdict

In Crowd Verdict, the respondent are yet to impose their trust on the South African team. More than 53% believe that India will win the world cup once again while South Africa is yet to see an opening.

Predict and win: Who will win the World Cup 2019?

Outcome

Famous as chokers, the South African team may not be an experienced side but they have a dream and determination to convert this world cup journey to win. Failing to make up to the finals, even after reaching the semi-finals for four times, the team will try to break this record of theirs. “It is one of positivity all the time. What is gone in the past is gone. We are not taking the past with us to the World Cup, it is a new adventure for us” the South African coach Ottis Gibson was heard saying. How South Africa will fare in the World Cup is up to time to decide but the team is here to make a difference this time.

Title: South Africa : The Champions in Making

Read: It’s Coming Home: England to be the next World Champion

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