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Wednesday 21 January 2015

Will South Africa Bury Ghosts Of Previous Cricket World Cups in 2015?

Will #SA break the #CricketWorldCup jinx this time?

The eternal "chokers" of cricket enter yet another world cup carrying ghosts of previous editions. The dreadful #Rainrule in 1992, the #Lara magnum opus in 1996, the ultimate #KluesnerChoke in the greatest one dayer of all time in 1999, the silly miscalculation against  #SriLanka in 2003, complete annihilation by #Australia in 2007 and the #NewZeland choke of 2011.

What are their chances this time around then?

Almost every world cup has thrown a situation that has pushed them out of the cup. Ironically, on most occasions they are the team to beat. Wessels' team in 1992 was their re-entry into world cup after the apartheid era but they did tremendously well to reach the semis only to be cruelly thrown out due to the ridiculous rain rule that was being applied to rain curtailed games. The #DuckworthLewis rule came in later to even out a contest.

In 1996 and 1999, under #HansieCronje, they were arguably the best side to win both tournaments on form and man-to-man strengths. Bowling, Batting, Fielding, All round ability .. they had it all. And some of the best names at that. However in 1996, they ran into a rampaging #BrianLara in the quarterfinal to be blown under his assault. In 1999, the greatest one day match of all time (a tied semi final against Australia) saw them bow out on account of losing to the Aussies in the group stage. An eternal #choke (that went on to become a sobriquet associated with them for years to come).

In 2003, under #GraemeSmith and being hosts, was another golden opportunity. And what did they do? Fluff up a Duckworth-Lewis calculation and failed to take an extra run that would see them in the next round. Instead Sri Lanka went through. What a mega blunder!

2007 World Cup was dominated by Australia throughout and they blew away everyone along the way including SA in the semifinals. Fair and square. No bad luck involved here.

Come 2011, and again tragedy struck in the quarterfinals against New Zealand. From what seemed like a easy win, they wasted another opportunity...

Any luck this time around?

Well, they seem a bit inexperienced and a lot of fresh faces.
However their key strength is their bowling, especially #DaleSteyn and #MorneMorkel. They will hold key on the fast Australian pitches and seams NZ tracks.

Batting is in safe hands of #ABDevilliers, #HashimAmla and #FafDuPlessis.

Solid all round strength and fielding is extra-ordinary right from the #JontyRhodes era.

With SA its all going to be about self belief.
Can they conquer their mental demons this time around?

SA Team for Cricket World Cup 2015
A B Devilliers
Hashim Amla
Kyle Abbott
Farhan Behardien
Quinton De Kock
Jean Paul Duminy
Faf Du Plessis
Imran Tahir
David Miller
Morne Morkel
Wayne Parnell
Aaron Phangiso
Vernon Philander
Rilee Rossauw
Dale Steyn

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