Thursday, June 4, 2009

Preview – South Africa

The ‘Proteas’ always start a world cup as favourites & end up as ‘Chokers’. Show them a world cup & they press the panic button. They have histories ties, collapses & Duckworth-Lewis calculations being misread. Last time, in their own backyard, India showed them the way out of the tournament. They will again start as favourites.

We can say that this South Africa side’s attitude & body language is quite different from previous sides. Their players like Jacques Kallis, A B DeVilliers, Roelof van der Merwe, Albie Morkel, Mark Boucher, Herschelle Giibs & Yousuf Abdullah had good IPL. In-fact, A B DeVilliers seems to grow mature with his stint with Delhi Daredevils. Yousuf Abdullah got selected for the national side only because of his performance for Kings XI Punjab. Jacques Kallis showed that experience is also required in T20 & Roelof van der Merwe showed that along with Albie Morkel, he could be the right person to hit massive sixes in death overs.


Just like New Zealand – South Africa also have some utility player like van der Merwe, Johan Botha in their side; genuine all-rounders like Albie Morkel, Jacques Kallis & J P Duminy (remember his off spinners) in their team.

Special mentions for Johan Botha (for me, he is the second best bowler in T20 after Daniel Vettori) & J P Duminy are strengths in bowling & batting departments, respectively.

Fielding: Excellent fielders like Gibbs, DeVilliers & Duminy.


Key players like Captain Graeme Smith doesn’t had a good IPL, though a player like him will not be out of form for a long time.

Bowling: With Makhaya Ntini not available for the T20 world cup, Dale Steyn would have to handle added responsibility. If he misfires, then the going would get really tough for them as Wayne Parnell & Yousuf Abdullah are not very experienced guys to handle that kind of a situation. Morne Morkel had not been very successful in the past, especially in T20s. Albie Morkel & the spinners have to ensure that middle overs go smoothly.


To show the world, that they have left behind the tag of ‘Chokers’ by performing excellently. They have the right combination for every condition & their players know how to do it.


Inclusion of only one quality spinner in Johan Botha could be a possible threat. Robin Peterson has never been a threat to the opponents.

Also they often collapse in tight games & that had given them the tag of ‘Chokers’. They should ensure that their players shouldn’t choke in crunch situations.


Graeme Smith (capt), Johan Botha, Yusuf Abdulla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Roelof van der Merwe


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