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ICC World Cup 2019: Team analysis: South Africa look to defy history, C word

South Africa look to defy history

London, May 26: South Africa have always struggled to make a mark in the 50-over world cup since their return to the tent in 1992. Well, that is not an exactly correct statement because they managed to find some novel ways to get knocked out of the tournament. From the rain rule in 1992 and 2003 to the last ball goof up in 1999, South Africa were the nearly-men of the quadrennial big bash despite having a good set of talented cricketers.

In the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, very few have given the Africans a chance and that could be a blessing in disguise for them. Can they work away from the hustle and lift the trophy? MyKhel analysis.

1. Strength

1. Strength

They have experienced names in their ranks like Dale Steyn, captain Faf du Plessis, who played a fine innings against Lanka in a warm-up game, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, who was in good touch for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019, Imran Tahir, the top wicket taker in the IPL 2019 while playing for Chennai Super Kings, the young and explosive Aiden Markram, Jean Paul Duminy and David Miller. All of them are match winners on their day and the Africans should be placing high hopes on them. And they have two really good bowlers in Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi - fast and accurate.

2. Weakness

2. Weakness

In a bizarre way, their strength is their weakness. Batsmen like Amla, Duminy and Miller have been struggling for form of late and that can add some more pressure on Du Plessis and De Kock, two in-form players. Their strike bowlers Steyn, Rabada and Ngidi are coming back after respective injuries and the Proteas will hope that they keep their fitness through the tournament.

3. Key Man 1: Quinton de Kock

3. Key Man 1: Quinton de Kock

The left-handed opener has been good touch in the last few months and the Rainbow Nation will require some power knocks from him in England. Early signs tell us that the pitches in England are quite barren and there could be some run fests, making the role of an in-form QDK all the more important.

4. Key Man 2: Kagiso Rabada

4. Key Man 2: Kagiso Rabada

The nature of pitches in England bring back the spotlight on bowlers and Rabada can bowl some really quick yorkers as he has shown in the IPL 2019 and the Africans will be hoping for an encore from him in England. He bowled 7 overs against Lanka in a warm-up match without much discomfort and a fit and firing Rabada is a must for Proteas.

5. Prediction

5. Prediction

They may be struggling a bit at the moment. But along with India, Australia, England, they should be able to enter the last four stage. They have the experience for that.

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Story first published: Sunday, May 26, 2019, 16:35 [IST]
Other articles published on May 26, 2019
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