Wednesday, February 16, 2011
World Cup 2011-The Real Contenders-South Africa
Ah the chokers .that's what the cricket world calls them ,the team that is bet upon to win every world cup yet haven't reached finals of a single world cup for the last three times.Be it t20 or odi or test ,they are a team to reckon with.the first team to beat Australia in Australia for over a decade.This world cup,they have the least number of players who know the pressure that the tournament puts upon them.They have a farewell to give to the world 's best all-rounder - Jacques Kallis over 20,000 runs and 500 wicket summing up all forms of international cricket he has played.Well do the Proteas finally have the chance to make their dream come through .Do they have the team .Let's find out.
Graeme Smith ,the captain of the South African team for the past 7 years after the great debacle against srilanka in 2003 world cup due to a duck-worth lewis miscalculation.He is captaining the side to his final world cup after which he resigns the post.He had successfully taken South Africa to the semis of 007 only to get mauled in the hands of eventual champions Australia.He is not in the greatest of his forms yet he is threat to any opposition if he gets going.He opens with calm and cool Amla who has the compusre to bat from over no-1 to 50 and allow others to go against the attack.The southafricans have one of the strong middle orders ,only next to India.They have got an all experienced kallis,good stroke players in de villers and duminy .It would be interesting to see who gets the nod between mone van wyk ,faf du plessis and colin ingram.All three of them have shown promise but do they have the substance to step up is a question to be asked.
In the bowling department they have the world's best opening bowlers combo at present in steyn and morkel.They would be ably supported by tsotsobe,a very good bowler who extracts bounce from any kind of pitch he has faced till date.They have three spinners in fray ,while Botha would be a automatic selection for his outstanding bowling skills and good batting he provides at the lower order.It would be a toss up between Robin peterson and Imran Tahir,who has waited for 8 years to finally get a nod from south african cricket board.
With all this said south africa still have their weakness.They dearly miss Klusner or Pollock who had provided them with the great all-round option in the last three world cups.they had the power to up the tempo but the present south african side lacks that player which would be crucial at the end stages of the world cup.They would surely make it to the super 8's even to the semis but it's the last 2 hurdles that they needed to cross which would be damn tough.With Kallis sidelined from bowling at the world-cup and talks that he may never be bowling , southafricans have additional pressure if one or two of the regular bowlers in the team get a bang from the opposition.
Truth be told southafrica have the team and all the confidence in them but there is a serious question hanging whether they would be able to give a proper farewell to the most prolific player south africa has ever produced and a very good skipper who took the responsibility when he was just 22 ?