South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis, Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Roelof van der Merwe.
Blessed with six All-Rounders Graeme Smith men will take field on the 2nd of May at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia looking forward to beat former T20 champions India, South Africa are seeded 3rd in their group along with the mysterious team of Afghanistan and the Capable Indian side.
We need to rewind a little bit and have look back at some history, we understand that South Africa has always performed well in the initial stages of the tournament with the 2003 world cup being an exception where there captains and coach carelessness took hold of them. We start from 1992 when the saga of bad luck struck them first and since then they have been unable to recover. South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls when rain intervened and when the play resumed in order to progress they were asked to score 22 runs off one ball as per the laws of cricket in 1992. Favorites in the 1996 world cup but knocked out in the quarterfinals. They performed quite well in the 1999 world cup and qualified for the Semis, in came the semi finals and the picture of Allan Donald being running out became one of the most iconic pictures of cricket history and a nightmare for The Proteas. In the 2003 cricket world cup they misunderstood the calculations in a rain affected game, what a way to choke that was an act of lack of knowledge despite playing for many years was never expected from Shaun Pollock.
They were ranked number one in ODI rankings in the 2007 world cup, the tournament went on and enjoying the ride were The Proteas up until the semi finals where they met once again The Australians, scoring just 149 while batting first was too less a target for the OZs to chase down and once again the dream of a South African World Cup victory was shattered by a rookie Shaun Tait.
Bad form was the reason of defeat in the 2007 T20 WC, but they still had another crack in the 2009 T20 WC. Unbeaten till the semi finals where they met the unpredictable Pakistan side of which Nasser Hussain has already said/warned that on that day it was the Pakistan to fear of, Pakistan gave South Africa a testing target of 150 runs and everything was going well for The Proteas when Jacque Kallis along with JP Duminy were marching towards the total but a defeat by a narrow margin of 7 runs saw them returning back home and once again their semi final opposition this time Pakistan won the world cup, it was the third time this happened where South Africa lost the semi final and the opposition went on to win the world cup with the previous two being ODI world cups of 1999 and 2007.
The Proteas has never been short of talent but somewhere down the line they lose focus, this time around once again they will be the most feared side in the tournament blessed with six All-Rounders, five clean hitters and some quality bowlers, South Africans are there to chase it down to the wire. Juan Theron will be joining the South African squad for the first time in his career, the thing about Juan is that he is a match winner he has won his side many matches with the ball at domestic level, this seamer from the Eastern Cape is the one to watch out for, he is the perfect replacement for the injured Wayne Parnell. Rory Keith Kleinveldt is another unfamiliar face making only his 2nd appearance for South Africa, a guy whose bat speed can destroy any bowling attack but also can destroy a batting line up with his bowling speed, but The Morkels, Steyn, Kallis, Langeveldt and Keith won’t make it easy for him to get into the starting XI neither will the 5 of them make lives easier for each other, its five because the veteran Kallis is an automatic selection for the seamer position.
South Africa are also taking with them Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe to fill their spaces in the spin department, these two can bat too and when it comes to T20 they can be called good batsmen. Batting department needs no introduction a strike rate of 150 runs per 100 balls Mr. Loots Bosman will open the innings for The Proteas, he has in company with him Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, AB Deviliers, Mark Boucher and the veteran Jacques Kallis. All in all it’s one of the most talented side of the tournament and if they are able to keep their focus on and may be have a fair bit of luck it can see them through the Semi Finals and then who knows what they show us when they play in the finals, haven’t seen them in a final or have we? Other then the Knockout cup 1998.
Strengths: All-Round capabilities, fielding.
Weakness: Lose focus in important matches.
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8 years ago