Wednesday, 17 Jul, 2024


Will the Chokers Choke Again?

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2015-01-11 00:18:00
Will the Chokers Choke Again?

South African Golden Generation which could compete well with all conquering West Indian team of 1970s and 1980s were banned by ICC from international cricket for apartheid policy. When they returned they in no time proved competitive at world level producing many top cricketers They were soon rated among the favorites of winning ICC world cup .Every time they presented all round brilliant team and threatened to run away with the trophy .But for reasons best known to them they choked at the business sessions of the tournament .ICC world remained an unfulfilled dream for South Africa yet.

Highest ranked test team and third ranked ODI team has always the potential to win World Cup. Even the present team has some of the very talented players and match winners. We find no reason why in down under they cannot go all the way to overcome their curse in World Cup Cricket.

South African Sqaud for ICC World Cup 2015: 

AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.

Of the fifteen De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir have world cup experience. 

South Africa has gambled on Quinton de Kock's fitness at the World Cup, having named him in their final 15. De Kock is only expected to recover from his ankle ligament tear after South Africa's first two games, which will leave AB de Villiers to keep wicket initially and a spare batsman to open with Hashim Amla. Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien were both included for that purpose. There was no space for left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, despite indications he would be considered for a recall, with Kyle Abbott and Wayne Parnell being the extra bowlers. Ryan McLaren, who took over the all-rounder role following Jacques Kallis' retirement, also lost his place. JP Duminy, who has been nursing a knee injury and out of action since the second week of November, also made the squad. 

Rather than play down their desire for success and the anxiety they face on the journey, which has been a feature of South African teams in the past, this one is not hiding their hope or their hesitation. "We do feel pressure, it's a huge responsibility. We desperately want to win a World Cup and bring it home," AB de Villiers, South Africa's captain, said. "We've been playing some good cricket and we are confident. We feel we have got a really good chance." 

This will be de Villiers' third World Cup and he has promised to do "absolutely nothing" differently to the previous attempts, instead relying purely on his and his squad's development between the last competition and this one. "I am a more experienced player now than I was then, and a few things have changed in my game," he said. "I am still going to go out there and try to win games for South Africa - I just feel I am a little better at it now than I was when I started.

The squad has very high quality batsmen, possibly the best fast bowling combination, average spin attack and high quality fielding talents. No one will argue about batting talents of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers .They are among the top three batsmen of any format of the game though Amla these days does not play in T20. AB deVilliers can destroy any attack when in full flow and many rates him as most devastating batsman in any form of the game. Amla is a classic batsman and around him South African batting will rotate. South Africa will beyond doubt miss the quality and experience of one of the best ever three in one all-rounder Jack Kallis who retired from all forms of official cricket.  With Kallis South Africa had many options as he was not only a great batsman but also a top quality fast bowler and excellent fielder. Any team will need at least two players to fill his void. We are not very sure that Faf du Plesis or David Miller are his ideal replacement. To us Kallis chose to retire a bit too early. Wicket Keeper cum opening batsman Quinton De Kock and brilliant middle order batsman a proven success in Australian condition JP Duminy are nursing injuries. Late order batting often creates issues for South Africa which may be resolved with the return of fit Duminy. He and Miller have to bat with the tail as Australia may appear with three or even four pacers in some matches. The team has enough reserve strength in both batting and bowling and should compete well against the best of the best. Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and Wayne Parnell will provide strong bench strength. 

South Africa at least moment possesses the most lethal pace bowling attack. Dayle Steyn is the number one bowler in the world who can extract life even from dead surface .Tall Morne Morkel and energetic Vernon Philander are his ideal foils .These three will rip through opposition if the wickets in the world cup offers any assistance to pace bowling. The spin department will be handled by Imran Tahir and JP Duminy .Again bowling at death become a bit worry for South Africans as they hardly bowl Yorkers or vary their paces in death overs .Consequently they leak too many in slog overs .We hope AB de Villiers and the coach will guard against this .

I will put my money on South Africa this time though my heart will want Bangladesh do well and Australia win the cup.

BDST: 1039 HRS, JAN 11, 2015

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