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SportCricketPerennial underachievers South Africa face tough challenge

Perennial underachievers South Africa face tough challenge

Published: 18th Oct 2021 12:06 am | Updated: 17th Oct 2021 9:53 pm

Hyderabad: When it comes to South Africa and ICC events, it is always heartbreak for the Proteas team. Failing to win a single ICC tournament till now, owing to their bad luck or failure to perform in crunch situations, South Africa always came a cropper. The talented group is hoping for a turnaround in the Men’s T20 World Cup.

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However, they face a herculean task in their bid to the maiden ICC trophy. They are clubbed alongside the powerhouses West Indies, England and Australia in the Group 1. With only two teams set to advance to the Super 12 stage, the Temba Bavume-led side has no option but to go all out from the word go. It is perform-or-perish for the perennial chokers, who always came short in the big-ticket events.

The best result for the South African team came in 2009 and 2014 where they reached semifinals. Barring the two occasions, they never reached the knockout stages. However, there is no denying that the talent has immense talent.

With Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klassen, Aiden Makram and experienced David Miller, their batting unit sports a solid look. The bowling department too has the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi, who are known for their express pace. Though Rabada was not at his best in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League, Nortje was superb with his show for the Delhi Capitals. His form augurs well for the team. With the pitches in the desert countries set to assist spin, South Africa’s world no.1 T20 bowler Tabraiz Shasmi and Keshav Maharaj have bigger roles to play.

However, Cricket South Africa attracted huge criticism with their team selection. Ignoring the talented players like Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir and all-rounder Chris Morris raised many eyebrows. Faf was fantastic in these conditions in the IPL scoring 633 runs and playing a key role in Chennai Super Kings’ fourth IPL trophy while Morris would have been an ideal all-rounder. Moreover, Faf and Tahir retired from other forms of the games to focus on the shortest format.

Despite having good talent, the Bavuma-led side has to come up with superlative performances to reach the knockout stages and avoid another disappointing ICC tournament.

Squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

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