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HomeCricket NewsSouth Africa - World Cup contenders or pretenders?

South Africa – World Cup contenders or pretenders?

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Last Updated on 10 years by Charbel Coorey

After South Africa’s clash with Zimbabwe yesterday, do you genuinely feel South Africa can win the World Cup? With players like Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, Jean Paul Duminy, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and co, you’d think they’re a great chance but there’s always a worry when watching South Africa play limited overs games in tournaments.

Yesterday’s match was part of the preparation for the World Cup just six months away. It was touted as a low key clash where South Africa could work on their skills and get more confidence under their belt. Instead, it has raised more questions in my mind (and surely in the minds of many other cricketing fans) as to whether they can go all the way in Australia & New Zealand. They collapsed from 0/142 to 9/195, showing how brittle they can be when placed even under a little pressure. If this happens in a supposedly low key clash against a struggling Zimbabwe, what can happen at the World Cup against stronger opposition?

Not taking anything away from Zimbabwe, they fought hard and played pretty well – Prosper Utseya was fantastic. It takes courage to keep fighting with your opponents 0/142 with players such as Du Plessis and JP Duminy following up. In the end, their brittle batting gave way and were unable to chase 231. I felt Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor were the two vital players that needed to make substantial contributions to cause an upset but it wasn’t to be, both bowled through the gate by left arm spinner Aaron Phangiso for 25 and 0 respectively.

As expected, South Africa won pretty comfortably in the end but more questions will be asked rather than answered. Some might say that getting into a position where you need to defend 231 rather than 300+ might be beneficial but the way they collapsed here doesn’t bode to well for the future in my opinion, especially when they’ve had a history of “choking” at the global events.

Hashim Amla, the stand in captain with De Villiers rested due to slight illness was pleased with the way the South Africans fought and made the most of what seemed a very gettable total. However, he pointed that the batting blowout must be put behind them so it doesn’t cause them problems in the future and the near future has plenty in store for all cricket fans. South Africa must improve in the ODI format by improving their mental strength in pressure situations because you might not pay the price for a 6/21 collapse against Zimbabwe, but you will against the likes of Australia and India at the World Cup.

Pretenders or contenders? We’ll have to wait and see.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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