ODI World Cup: South Africa Team’s SWOT Analysis, Key Players & Fixtures
Temba Bavuma-led side will begin their World Cup 2023 campaign by playing against Sri Lanka on October 7 in Delhi
Whenever the World Cup comes around there would always be talk about South Africa being the favourites to win the Cup. It’s been eight editions since they have been part of the showpiece event, but they have failed to cross the last hurdle. However, in this World Cup, they are going as underdogs, and no one has any expectations from the Temba Bavuma-led side. In fact, South Africa are not even in the top four teams to make the semi-final.
The Proteas almost scrapped through the World Cup by beating the Netherlands. If they had lost that series, they would have ended up playing the Qualifiers. The Temba Bavuma-led side then played Australia in build up to the WC and beat them 3-2.
All three wins were over 100 run margin. South Africa does carry momentum into the WC, and now it is all about having belief in their abilities to rise to the occasion, and try to get rid of the Chokers tag.
South Africa’s Performance in the 2019 World Cup
The Proteas had a disappointing outing in the 2019 edition of the WC as they failed to qualify for the semis. Rather than their on-field performances, off-field performances were the talk of the town. South Africa even lost to Bangladesh in the group stage of the competition. The Men in Green could only win three matches in the 2019 edition of the WC.
Best Performance in World Cup
Without any doubt, the South African side came within touching distance of winning the WC in 1999. Lance Klusner was simply outstanding in that edition of WC with bat and ball in hand. If not for the tied game in the semi-final against Australia, then the Hansie Cronje-led side would have qualified for the final. In the eight editions of the WC, the Rainbow nation have qualified four times for the semi-finals. 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015.
However, South Africa are yet to make the finals of the World Cup. Will this be the edition where they finally get the monkey off the bag? Only time will tell.
The biggest strength for South Africa this World Cup is their batting. While every edition their bowlers are the talk of the town, this edition they have got a well-rounded batting side, who are also very good players of spin. South Africa’s middle order consists of Aiden Markram, Henrich Klassen, and David Miller. All three players strike above 100 and can easily take the game away within a blink of an eye.
Bowling also looks well balanced with pacers Rabada, Ngidi, Marco Jansen, Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, and Gerald Coetzee in it.
The lack of good death bowlers is South Africa’s biggest concern. With Anrich Nortje ruled out of the World Cup, the Proteas don’t have a good bowler at the back end. Marco Jansen and Rabada have leaked runs at the death. This one area teams could look to put pressure on SA.
South Africa will go as underdogs in this edition of the WC. Their performance in the last 12 months have been a bit inconsistent, but underestimating Proteas could prove fatal for the teams. The middle-order batting is where they can significantly damage the other teams. With boundaries not big enough, SA batters would fancy themselves to go big in the power play and death overs.
South Africa’s biggest enemy is themselves only. Choking at important times has been their biggest problem. They have to believe in themselves to rise to the occasion in the clutch moments.
Henrich Klassen and Marco Jansen will be key players for South Africa. Klassen because of the purple patch he has been in the last 10 months. The right-hand batter has the best strike rate among all the batters in this period, scoring runs above 120. Jansen is an X-factor bowler, owing to his ability to swing the ball both ways. The southpaw is also pretty handy in the lower middle order.
South Africa ODI World Cup 2023 Full schedule
|South Africa vs Qualifier 2||October 7||Delhi|
|South Africa vs Australia||October 13||Lucknow|
|South Africa vs Qualifier 1||October 17||Dharamsala|
|South Africa vs England||October 21||Mumbai|
|South Africa vs Bangladesh||October 24||Mumbai|
|South Africa vs Pakistan||October 27||Chennai|
|South Africa vs New Zealand||November 1||Pune|
|South Africa vs India||November 5||Kolkata|
|South Africa vs Afghanistan||November 10||Ahmedabad|
South Africa WC squad:
Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Lizaad Williams, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phekhlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.